Born: 1900, New York City
Died: 1990, Tarrytown, New York
“Music is in a continual state of becoming.”
The quintessential American composer, Copland worked with a wide range of techniques and styles in virtually every musical genre. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and benefitted from the championship of Serge Koussevitzky, who conducted the premiere of Copland’s Music for the Theater in 1925 and then led the premiere of Copland’s Piano Concerto in 1927, with the composer as the soloist. Copland is best-known for his trio of ballets on American folk motives – Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944) – but he also wrote symphonies and songs, operas and film scores (winning an Academy Award for his 1949 score for The Heiress), choral music and chamber music.