Copland's Centennial

His music can be heard on American TV commercials as well as in Hollywood movies. His "Fanfare for the Common Man" is as well-known in America as Mozart's "Kleine Nachtmusik." Aaron Copland, born Nov. 14, 1900, in Brooklyn, NY, freed the concert music of his country from the overwhelming European influence. He achieved this by using diverse elements of American music - jazz rhythms were as interesting to him as was the Jewish chant that he had heard in synagogues when he was a child, and Latin American dance music was also an inspiration for him. During World War II, Copland wrote pieces that Americans could easily identify with, such as the "Fanfare for the Common Man," "Rodeo," "Lincoln Portrait," and "Appalachian Spring." He became one of the most popular composers in America, but he also experienced life as an outsider. As a young composer, Copland was not well-received by audiences, and during the McCarthy era, the American Senate interrogated him about his contacts to the left. Georg Hirsch casts a view on Copland's long and eventful life.

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