Timeline

  • November 14, 1900 -- Born, Brooklyn, New York
  • Early Life -- Learned piano from his sister, studied with Leopold Wolfsohn, Victor Wittgenstein, and Clarence Adler; attended New York-area concerts with regular frequency
  • 1917 -- Studied harmony, counterpoint, and compositional forms with Karl Goldmark, a well-known composer schooled in the German Romantic tradition
  • 1918 -- Graduated from Boy's High School
  • 1920 -- Went to Paris to live as an expatriot; studied with Nadia Boulanger through 1924; exposed to French composers (Ravel, Honeger, Roussel, Milhaud) in Paris; summers spent in Germanic regions, exposed to Webern, Bartok, and Hindemith
  • 1922-25 -- Wrote first large work, Grohg, a ballet influenced by French textures and Stravinsky
  • 1924 -- Organ Symphony written - commisioned by Boulanger for her initial tour of America
  • 1925 -- Wrote Music for the Theatre suite, a jazzy, syncopated attempt to create a distinctly 'American' sound
  • Other 1920's Events -- Studied dramatic literature at the Sorbonne; taught privately; received support from Boston Symphony Conductor Serge Koussevitsky's patron, Alma Morgenthau Wertheim, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggegheim Foundation; joined League of Composers and wrote for Modern Music, its periodical
  • 1926 -- Piano Concerto is written
  • 1927-1937 -- Taught at New School for Social Research - lectures developed into best-selling books (What to Listen for in Music, and Our New Music)
  • 1928 -- Wrote first significant chamber work: Vitebsk, a piano trio based on Hebraic subject matter
  • 1928-1931 -- With composer Roger Sessions, sponsored the Copland-Sessions Concerts, a series of new music performances in New York
  • 1930 -- Wrote the acclaimed Dance Symphony and Piano Variations
  • 1933-1944 -- Taught at Harvard in composer/theorist Walter Piston's absence
  • 1934 -- Wrote the ballet Hear ye! Hear ye!
  • 1936 -- An opera for children, The Second Hurricane, and the famed El Salón México are written
  • 1938 -- Wrote the ballet Billy the Kid and An Outdoor Overture
  • 1939 -- Film Score for Of Mice and Men is written
  • 1940-1965 -- First compositional faculty member at Koussevitsky's Berkshire Music Center, later to be called the Tanglewood Music Center; wrote film score to Our Town (1940)
  • 1941 -- Wrote his Piano Sonata and Quiet City
  • 1942 -- Wrote the ballet Rodeo and the Lincoln Portrait
  • 1943 -- Fanfare for the Common Man is published for brass and percussion
  • 1943 -- Violin Sonata is published
  • 1944 -- Wrote Appalachian Spring - the other
  • 1945 -- Won the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Critic's Circle Award
  • 1946 -- The Third Symphony, utilizing the Fanfare for a Common Man, is composed
  • 1948 -- Wrote the Clarinet Concerto for virtuoso Benny Goodman, used by Jerome Robbins in the ballet Pied Piper; wrote film score to The Red Pony
  • 1950 -- Won an 'Oscar' from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; published the Piano Quartet and an important cycle of 12 songs based on the poems of Emily Dickinson
  • 1951 -- Became Norton Professor of Poetics at Harvard, an annual honor bestowed for the first time to a composer; Norton lectures published as Music and Imagination
  • 1952 -- Old American Songs are written
  • 1954 -- Wrote a large-scale opera, The Tender Land
  • 1956 -- Won the Gold Medal of the National Institute of Arts and Letters
  • 1960 -- Wrote the Nonet for Stings
  • 1962 -- Wrote Connontations for the N.Y. Philharmonic's 125th year
  • 1964 -- Music for a Great City is finished
  • 1967 -- Inscape is written
  • 1971 -- Published Duo for Flute and Piano
  • 1972 -- Three Latin American Sketches are composed
  • 1984 -- First volume of memoirs are written, Copland: 1900 Through 1942, with the help of Vivian Perlis
  • 1986 -- Wins the Congressional Medal of Honor and the National Medal of Arts
  • 1989 -- Writes second volume of memoirs, Copland: Since 1943, with Vivian Perlis
  • 1990 -- Dies, December 2 in North Tarrytown, NY; his ashes are scattered at Tanglewood


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