On shows such as All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and our own music program Performance Today, NPR has continually covered the impact of Aaron Copland with in-depth features and interviews. Click on the links below to hear the feature that intrigues you. And don't miss Copland's own voice in a telling 1980 interview with Fred Calland.
Jan Swafford on Copland
As part of a special edition of Performance Today, commentator Jan Swafford, celebrated biographer of Charles Ives and Johannes Brahms, articulates Copland's perpetual contribution to our country, and how he put America on the classical-music map. Listen to the essay.
America's Composer on Morning Edition
Elizabeth Blair reports on composer Aaron Copland, who would have been 100 years old on November 14, 2000. Copland's music has become a symbol of Americana, but some details about his life remain little known. Copland was Jewish, homosexual, and often identified with the Communist Party. Some believe these affiliations made his music all the richer. Listen to the feature and decide for yourself.
Appalachian Spring in the NPR 100
Aaron Copland once confessed that this famous composition, written for a Martha Graham ballet, really had very little to do with Appalachia or spring. Many critics contend it's his best work and probably the best dance composition ever created by an American composer. Listen to All Things Considered's Jeff Lunden speak of his appreciation of the piece.
Marin Alsop on Copland's Piano Concerto
Performance Today guest host Bonnie Guest talks with conductor Marin Alsop, who met the great American composer Aaron Copland when she played as a substitute violinist in the New York Philharmonic. Alsop talks about the genius of Copland, and introduces a complete performance of one of his unfamiliar works--the Piano Concerto. Hear the Performance Today feature.
Michael Steinberg on Copland
NPR's Noah Adams talks to musicologist and critic Michael Steinberg about the music of Aaron Copland. Why, we ask, does Copland's music sound
American? What is it about the music that evokes an American landscape in the minds of the audience? Steinberg think it has something to do with the
composer's habit of quoting folk and cowboy tunes -- but also something about his chord structure that connotes wide-open spaces. Hear the NPR feature.
Milestones of the Millennium: Appalachian Spring
As part of Performance Today's Milestones of the Millennium series pianist/conductor Robert Kapilow and renowned composer John Adams discuss the development of one of Copland's best loved ballets. Find out more about Appalachian Spring and listen to the feature.
Copland and Gerald Stern's This Time
Poet Gerald Stern is the author of "This Time" (Norton), the winner of the 1998 National Book Award for Poetry.
Mr. Stern discuss his inspiration for the book and reads his poem "They Were Both 65" which is about his mother's meeting with composer Aaron
Copland. Hear the NPR feature.