12-02-1990

Aaron Copland

On this date the great American composer AARON COPLAND died (b. 1900). A composer of concert and film music, as well as an accomplished pianist, Copland was instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition.  He was widely known as “the dean of American composers.” Copland’s music achieved a balance between modern music and American folk styles. The open, slowly changing harmonies of many of his works are said to evoke the vast American landscape. He also incorporated percussive orchestration, changing meter, polyrhythms, polychords and tone rows in a broad range of works for concert hall, theater, ballet, and films. Aside from composing, Copland was a teacher, lecturer, critic, writer, and conductor (generally, but not always) of his own works.