Copland was an American composer who helped create a truly American sound to composition. Copland used folk tunes of America in his music, bringing to light some of the unique sounds of America. He was one of the first composers to include jazz rhythms in his symphonic pieces. Copland’s family was not musical, he did not truly delve into musical studies until he went to school in Europe. His teacher, Nadia Boulanger, encouraged him to pursue composition. Copland won a Pulitzer Prize for the music he wrote for the ballet Appalachian Spring. Copland spent the later part of his life conducting and even conducted the Dallas Symphony Orchestra twice!
Appalachian Spring – Variations on Simple Gifts
Billy the Kid – “Celebration”
Billy the Kid – “Mexican Dance and Finale”
Interview with Aaron Copland
Rodeo – “Buckaroo Holiday”
Rodeo – “Hoedown
Rodeo – “Saturday Night Waltz”