November 14, 1900
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
December 2, 1990 at Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.
Also Known As:
Premier American composer who helped bring American music to the forefront. He was also a conductor, a teacher and a writer who wrote books about music as well as his autobiography "Copland: 1900 Through 1942" and "Copland: Since 1943.'
Type of Compositions:
His older sister taught him how to play the piano. Copland also enrolled in a correspondence course to try and learn about harmony. He studied composition with Rubin Goldmark in 1917. In 1921, he attended a school at Fontainebleau where he became a student of Nadia Boulanger. Boulanger taught him composition and was a great influence to Copland.
Among his notable works are: "Billy the Kid," "Rodeo," "Appalachian Spring' (for Martha Graham), "A Lincoln Portrait," "Symphony for Organ and Orchestra," "Music for the Theater," "Piano Concerto," "Piano Variations," "Short Symphony," "Statements for Orchestra," film scores for "Of Mice and Men," "Our Town," "The Red Pony" and "The Heiress" (won an Academy Award); his later works include "The Tender Land," "Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson" and "Nonet."
Before he became a well-known composer, Copland worked at a resort in Pennsylvania as a pianist. He received many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, and over 30 honorary degress during his career. He taught at Harvard and was head of the Berkshire Music Centre's (at Tanglewood) composition department from 1940 to 1965.
Listen to Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for A Common Man" courtesy of YouTube.