Aaron Copland (1900–1990)
American composer, conductor, and writer. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Copland studied music theory and practice in Paris in the early 1920s, then returned to New York to compose, organize concert series, publish American scores, and further the cause of the American composer. His experiments with adapting jazz to classical composition gradually led Copland to develop a distinctly American style. He incorporated American folk songs and legends into many of his works, including three ballet scores: Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. His other popular works include Lincoln Portrait (1942), for narrator and orchestra; Fanfare for the Common Man (1942); and Connotations for Orchestra (1962). An avid reader throughout his long life, he also wrote music criticism and essays. In his later years Copland was celebrated as “the Dean of American Music.” See also coplandhouse.org.