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January 29, 2000


Aaron Copland Premiere Airs on NPR's Performance Today



On January 31, NPR's Performance Today presents a live studio broadcast of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as it performs the world premiere orchestration of Aaron Copland's Midday Thoughts. In recognition of Copland's centennial year, the group will also perform Copland's Appalachian Spring and Hoedown from the ballet Rodeo.

This live broadcast from NPR's Studio 4A kicks off a week of Performance Today programs that will showcase the artistic excellence of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and its unique, democratic approach to music-making. Performance Today airs live on public radio stations around the country weekdays from 9-11am. (Check local listings).

Midday Thoughts, a short piano piece, was left unfinished by Copland in the 1940s. It was rediscovered by one of his assistants in the 1970s, and subsequently completed by Copland himself in November 1982. Copland's friend Bennett Lerner first performed the work as a solo piano piece at Carnegie Hall in 1983.

Copland described Midday Thoughts as a "brief lyric piece very much in the manner of Appalachian Spring." Under a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, NPR commissioned composer David Del Tredici to orchestrate the piece. Del Tredici is a former student of Copland, and, like Copland, is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

NPR's Performance Today, public radio's most listened-to classical music program, received a George Foster Peabody Award in 1999. The program features concert performances from around the globe, along with classical music news and commentary. It is heard by more than 1.5 million people each week on more than 240 public radio stations. NPR's Performance Today is produced and distributed by National Public Radio®, which also produces and distributes such noted programs as Morning Edition®, All Things Considered®, Talk of the Nation®, Jazz Profiles® and Car Talk®.