His music can be heard in American TV commercials, as well as in popular Hollywood movies. Aaron Copland is considered a flagship of his country as he is one of those American composers who freed themselves from the influence of European tradition. He mixed elements of jazz, Latin-American rhythms, and sometimes melodies he had heard in the synagogue when he was a boy. Being the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Copland belonged to a generation of Americans who brought their European heritage to America but then became symbolic of the American melting pot. Coplands music includes three symphonies, two operas, a piano concerto, a clarinet concerto, more than a dozen pieces for piano solo, chamber music, and several film scores. Some of his best-known pieces bear American titles such as "Appalachian Spring", "Rodeo", "Billy the Kid" and "Lincoln Portrait". Last November, Amerika and the rest of the world celebrated Copland's Centennial (11/14/2000), and Georg Hirsch traced back his long and eventful life.
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