July’s composer of the month is Aaron Copland.
Born: November 14, 1900
Died: December 2, 1990
• Copland's first piano teacher was his older sister, Laurine.
• When the composer was 11 years old, he wrote his first melody — seven bars of an opera called Zenatello.
• He was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for his ballet, Appalachian Spring.
• Copland was also a respected film composer, scoring titles such as The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, and The Heiress (which earned him the 1950 Academy Award for Best Music).
• In 1921, Copland sailed to France and studied with renowned composition teacher, Nadia Boulanger. He was initially skeptical of studying with a woman, but over time he developed a tremendous amount of respect for her, calling her an "intellectual Amazon" and describing his introduction to Boulanger as "the most important musical event of his life."
Three important works:
• Rodeo (1942)
• Fanfare of the Common Man (1942)
• Appalachian Spring (1944)
Audio Backpack playlist: Aaron Copland