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Aaron Copland

Born Nov 14, 1900

Aaron Copland was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, he is often referred to as "the Dean of American Composers" and is best known to the public for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in a deliberately accessible style often referred to as Populist and which the composer labeled his "vernacular" style.… Read More

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1900 Birth Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn into a Conservative Jewish family of Lithuanian origins, the last of five children, on November 14, 1900. … Read More


1913 13 Years Old At the age of eleven, Copland devised an opera scenario he called Zenatello, which included seven bars of music, his first notated melody. From 1913 to 1917 he took music lessons with Leopold Wolfsohn, who taught him the standard classical fare. … Read More
1917 17 Years Old From 1917 to 1921, Copland composed juvenile works of short piano pieces and art songs. … Read More


1921 21 Years Old Copland studied conducting in Paris in 1921, but not until his involvement conducting his own Hollywood scores, did he undertake it except out of necessity. … Read More
1925 25 Years Old …  Copland lived frugally and survived financially with help from two $2,500 Guggenheim Fellowships—one in 1925 and one in 1926. … Read More


1935 35 Years Old Perhaps motivated by the plight of children during the Depression, around 1935 Copland began to compose musical pieces for young audiences, in accordance with the first goal of American Gebrauchsmusik. … Read More
During his initial visit to Mexico, Copland began composing the first of his signature works, El Salón México, which he completed four years later in 1936. … Read More
1939 39 Years Old In 1939, Copland completed his first two Hollywood film scores, for Of Mice and Men and Our Town, and received sizable commissions. … Read More


1940 40 Years Old …  Through royalties and with his great success from 1940 on, Copland amassed a multi-million dollar fortune by the time of his death. … Read More
1942 42 Years Old Continuing his string of successes, in 1942 Copland composed the ballet Rodeo, a tale of a ranch wedding, written around the same time as Lincoln Portrait. … Read More
1944 44 Years Old Composed in a two-year period from 1944 to 1946, it became Copland's best-known symphony.
1945 45 Years Old In 1945, Copland contributed to Jubilee Variation, a work commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony in which ten American composers collaborated, but the piece is seldom heard in the concert hall. … Read More
1949 49 Years Old 1 More Event
Copland finished the 1940s with two film scores, one for William Wyler's 1949 film The Heiress and one for the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel The Red Pony.


In 1950, Copland received a U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission scholarship to study in Rome, which he did the following year. … Read More
1951 51 Years Old In 1951, Copland undertook one of his most challenging works, the "Piano Fantasy" (1957) which he labored over for several years. … Read More
1953 53 Years Old Because of the political climate of that era, A Lincoln Portrait was withdrawn from the 1953 inaugural concert for President Eisenhower. … Read More
1954 54 Years Old In 1954, Copland received a commission from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein to create music for the opera The Tender Land, based on James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. … Read More


1961 61 Years Old …  His score for the 1961 independent film Something Wild was released in 1964 as Music For a Great City. … Read More
1990 90 Years Old …  Copland's health deteriorated through the 1980s, and he died of Alzheimer's disease and respiratory failure on December 2, 1990, in North Tarrytown, New York (now Sleepy Hollow).
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Copland.
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