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Copland, Aaron

Born: 1900 AD
Died: 1990 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Composers

1900 – He was born on the 14th day of November this year in Brooklyn, New York.


1921 – His musical education included time with Leopold Wolfsohn, Rubin Goldmark who also taught George Gershwin, and Nadia Boulanger at the Fontainebleau School of Music in Paris from this year until 1924.


1925 – He was awarded a Guggenheim in Fellowship in this year and again in 1926. Upon his return from his studies in Paris, he decided that he wanted to write works that were "American in character" and thus he chose jazz as the American idiom. Other major works of his first period (austere) include the Music for Theater in this year.


1930 – He composed the Piano Variations in this year and in 1933 the Short Symphony. However, this jazz-inspired period was brief, as his style evolved toward the goal of writing more accessible works.


1936 – His second period, the vernacular period, began about this year with Billy the Kid and El Salón México. Having defended the Communist Party USA during this year’spresidential election, Copland was investigated by the FBI during the red scare of the 1950s, and found himself blacklisted.


1942 – Fanfare for the Common Man, perhaps his most famous work, scored for brass and percussion, was written in this year at the request of the conductor Eugene Goossens, conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.


1949 – He was an important contributor to the genre of film music; his score for William Wyler’s 1949 film, The Heiress won an Academy Award. Several themes he created are encapsulated in the suite Music for Movies, and his score for the film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel The Red Pony was given a suite of its own.


1961 – His score for the 1961 independent film “Something Wild” was released in this year as Music for a Great City. Posthumously, his music was used for Spike Lee’s 1998 film, He Got Game, which featured a neighborhood basketball set to the music of Hoe-Down.


1970 – He is also a recipient of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s distinguished Charles E. Lutton Man of Music Award for this year.


1990 – At age 90, he died in North Tarrytown, New York (now Sleepy Hollow) on the 2nd day of December this year.


2007 – Copland was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in composition for Appalachian Spring. In the same year, he will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame