- Copland, Aaron
- (1900-1990)The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Copland was one of America’s greatest modern composers. His work combined the influences of Igor Stravinsky with that of jazz and American folk melodies. He wrote for radio, theater, and movies, and his first major piece was Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, composed in 1924. During the 1920s, Copland was very much part of the avant-garde and contributed articles to the new journal Modern Music. He established the American Festivals of Contemporary Music at Saratoga Springs in 1932. His El Salon Mexico (1936) was influenced by visits to South America and Central America. He is best known for his later ballets celebrating American themes, Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944), and for the patriotic pieces written in 1942, A Lincoln Portrait and Fanfare for a Common Man. Copland wrote many famous film scores, including those for Of Mice and Men (1939) and Our Town (1940), and in 1949 he won an Oscar for his music for the movie The Heiress. During the period of McCarthyism in the 1950s, Copland was investigated for his supposed communist sympathies, and he testified before Congress in 1953.See also Cinema.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.