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. He was instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, and is often referred to as "the Dean of american Composers".… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Aaron Copland.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Aaron Copland.


1900 Birth Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 14, 1900. … Read More


1913 13 Years Old …  From 1913 to 1917 he took piano lessons with Leopold Wolfsohn, who taught him the standard classical fare. … Read More
1917 17 Years Old Goldmark, with whom Copland studied between 1917 and 1921, gave the young Copland a solid foundation, especially in the Germanic tradition. … Read More


1921 21 Years Old While Copland studied conducting in Paris in 1921, he remained essentially a self-taught conductor with a very personal style. … Read More
1925 25 Years Old …  Copland lived frugally and survived financially with help from two $2,500 Guggenheim Fellowships in 1925 and 1926. … Read More
1927 27 Years Old With the knowledge he had gained from his studies in Paris, Copland came into demand as a lecturer and writer on contemporary European classical music. From 1927 to 1930 and 1935 to 1938, he taught classes at The New School of Social Research in New York City. … Read More


1933 33 Years Old …  By 1933... he began to find ways to make his starkly personal language accessible to a surprisingly large number of people. … Read More
1935 35 Years Old Around 1935, perhaps motivated by the plight of children during the Depression, Copland began to compose musical pieces for young audiences, in accordance with the first goal of American Gebrauchsmusik. … Read More
1936 36 Years Old 1 More Event
During his initial visit to Mexico, Copland began composing the first of his signature works, El Salón México, which he completed in 1936. … Read More
1939 39 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1939, Copland completed his first two Hollywood film scores, for Of Mice and Men and Our Town, and composed the radio score "John Henry", based on the folk ballad.


1944 44 Years Old Composed in a two-year period from 1944 to 1946, it became Copland's best-known symphony. … Read More
1949 49 Years Old In 1949, Copland returned to Europe, where he found French composer Pierre Boulez dominating the group of post-war avant-garde composers there. … Read More


1950 50 Years Old 1 More Event
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 During the 1951-52 academic year, Copland gave a series of lectures under the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship at Harvard University. … Read More
1952 52 Years Old In 1952, Copland received a commission from the League of Composers, funded by a grant from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, to write an opera for television. … Read More
1953 53 Years Old He was included on an FBI list of 151 artists thought to have Communist associations and found himself blacklisted, with A Lincoln Portrait withdrawn from the 1953 inaugural concert for President Eisenhower. … Read More
1954 54 Years Old 1 More Event
He decried the lack of artistic freedom in the Soviet Union, and in his 1954 Norton lecture he asserted that loss of freedom under Soviet Communism deprived artists of "the immemorial right of the artist to be wrong." … Read More
1957 57 Years Old In 1957, 1958, and 1976, Copland was the Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, a classical and contemporary music festival in Ojai, California. … Read More


1960 60 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1960, RCA Victor released Copland's recordings with the Boston Symphony Orchestra of the orchestral suites from Appalachian Spring and The Tender Land; these recordings were later reissued on CD, as were most of Copland's Columbia recordings (by Sony).
1969 69 Years Old 1 More Event
These articles would appear in 1969 as the book Copland on Music.
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). … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.