Monday, November 10, 2008

Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland, 1900-1990, was born in New York to a Jewish immigrant family who came originally from Lithuania.

The name Kaplan was changed to Copland.

Copland composed the ballets Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944).

He introduced into his music themes related to folk music, Spanish culture and the American West.

In Billy the Kid, there is said to be a gay theme displayed in the relationship between Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Copland composed the music for a number of films, including Of Mice and Men (1939), Our Town (1940) and The Red Pony (1948).

Copland was gay and left-wing.

In 1953, Copland was hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee, accused of being a Communist sympathizer.

One of Copland's most famous compositions was Fanfare for the Common Man (1943) and the fascists who occupied top positions in America had no sympathy for the common man.

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson gave Copland the Medal of Freedom for his contributions to American culture.

Copland had a gay relationships with the composer Leonard Bernstein and a number of other young men.

When it was suggested to Copland that one of his young lovers was exploiting him, Copland replied, "He's young, he's fresh, he's a lot of fun." (Cached )

In Howard Pollack's biography, "Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man", Pollack relates that when a good-looking student walked by, Copland, who had written three symphonies, said to a friend, "There goes my Fourth Symphony." (Cached )

Aaron Copland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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