Aaron Copland Biography (BBC)
Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrants (on the way from Russia to America, "Koplan" or "Kaplan" became "Copland"), and he grew up comfortable with many kinds of music-making. In New York City, Copland heard pop music and jazz on the streets, and went to the 'Old Met[ropolitan opera]' to hear Bizet and Wagner. After high-school he played in dance bands at summer hotels in upstate New York. At the same time he studied composition with Rubin Goldmark, a former pupil of Dvorak.
In 1921 Copland enrolled at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. There from Nadia Boulanger he received his most important training as well as his professional launching. Boulanger introduced him to Russian-French modernism and to famous musicians, including Stravinsky and Serge Koussevitzky. She encouraged him to take jazz in particular more seriously. Sailing home in 1924, Copland felt ready to lead - to "make music and life touch".
Soon Copland developed his own techniques to handle jazz and popular music within a modernist context. Enduring works from this period include Music for the Theater (1925) and the Piano Variations (1930). Later, during the early stages of a folk revival, fed by the anxieties of the Depression and War years, Copland shifted his vernacular base from commercial music to folk traditions. El Salón México (1936), Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942) and Appalachian Spring (1944) have established his stature as the creator of an 'American sound'. Many other compositions, such as the Piano Quartet (1950), the Piano Fantasy (1957) and the Nonet for Strings (1960), still strive for more prominence in the repertoire.
Copland also wrote solid music criticism as well as books on music appreciation and contemporary music. The centenary of his birth prompted a new wave of scholarship, including the first scholarly biography of a composer somewhat taken for granted. In addition, the Music Division of the Library of Congress (USA) has digitised its Aaron Copland Collection, including musical autographs and correspondence, all now available online.
Profile © Judith Tick
Aaron Copland Biography (Wikipedia)
Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, in his later years he was often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers" and is best known to the public for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style often referred to as "populist" and which the composer labeled his "vernacular" style.
Works in this vein include the ballets Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid and Rodeo, his Fanfare for the Common Man and Third Symphony. The open, slowly changing harmonies of many of his works are typical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit. In addition to his ballets and orchestral works, he produced music in many other genres including chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores.
- The Benny Goodman Legacyhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01zvqjr.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01zvqjr.jpg2014-05-27T15:23:00.000ZAt the 2009 London Jazz Festival, Alyn Shipton explores pieces written for Benny Goodman.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01zvqk9
The Benny Goodman Legacy
- Copland: Appalachian Springhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w12by.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01w12by.jpg2014-03-21T16:41:00.000ZHoward Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss Simple Gifts from Copland's Appalachian Spring.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01w12c9
Copland: Appalachian Spring
- Aaron Copland - life and work through the places he lived and visitedhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p018vzft.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p018vzft.jpg2013-05-10T12:17:00.000ZDonald Macleod explores Copland's life and work through the places he lived and visitedhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p018vzpj
Aaron Copland - life and work through the places he lived and visited
Aaron Copland Performances