Copland is one of the most famous American composers of our day. You recall that George Gershwin wanted to study in France with Nadia Boulanger and he got turned down? She was a gifted teacher who knew how to recognize her student’s gifts and guide them into developing them. Well, Copland did get to study with her, and she encouraged him to create his own style of music.
Copland does have his own distinctive style, a style considered a very “American” sound. What other composer considered the Old American Wild West as a source for ballets? Billy the Kid, Rodeo and Appalachian Spring are among his most famous pieces. We always enjoyed listening to them because they sound just like movie soundtracks! The music truly tells a story. Seems rather curious that a boy who grew up in Brooklyn would write such Western sounding music.
You may have heard “Fanfare for the Common Man” on the birthday of Constitution blog entry. In case you missed it, here it is again.
If you would like to hear a fascinating podcast about Copland as a boy and how he started his music studies, click here.
Maybe Copland saw the beautiful Steinway piano which I blogged about a couple of days ago?