An Aaron Copland Timeline Browse the important events in the composer's musical career and personal life.

An Aaron Copland Timeline

The important events in the composer's musical career and personal life.

November 14, 1900: Born, Brooklyn, N.Y.

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 first tour of America.

1925: Wrote music for the "Theatre" suite, a jazzy, syncopated attempt to create a distinctly 'American' sound.

Other 1920s 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 its periodical, Modern Music.

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, 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

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 Academy Award; published the Piano Quartet and a song cycle based on the poems of Emily Dickinson.

1951: Became the first composer to be honored with the Norton Professor of Poetics at Harvard; 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 New York Philharmonic's 125th anniversary.

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 on December 2 in North Tarrytown, N.Y.; his ashes are scattered at Tanglewood.