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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
March 2
Can You Guess?
In a part of the city of Peekskill, New York that ultimately became part of Cortlandt Manor is the house where Aaron Copland composed the Nonet for Strings.  It is now a museum.  Can You Guess the name of the house?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Happened
Today?
1724 - Premiere of G. F. Handel's opera Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) in London

1744 - Premiere of Handel's oratorio Joseph and his Brethren at the Covent Garden Theater, in London.

1792 - Premiere of Franz Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 98. Hanover-Square Concert Rooms in London, composer conducting.

1795 - Premiere of Haydn's Drum Roll Symphony No. 103. King's Theater in London, Haydn conducted.

1824 - Birth of Czech composer Bedrich Smetana in Leitomischi, Bohemia.

1873 - First of the Colonne Concerts in Paris, founded by Edouard J. Colonne.

1934 - Roy Harris finished composing Four Minutes and Twenty Seconds a work for flute and strings for Columbia Phonograph company to fill one side of a grammophone disk.

1948 - Dan Welcher, US composer, was born in Rochester, NY.

1964 - Twist and Shout, by the Beatles, was released in the U.S.

2004 - Premiere of Joan Towerīs Piano Trio. The Kalichstein-Robinson-Laredo Trio at the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival in Tucson, AZ.
Aaron Copland
1900 - 1990
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March 2, 1961 Aaron Copland's Nonet for Strings (3 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos) premiered in Washington, D.C. It was performed by members of the National Symphony conducted by the Copland himself.

Aaron Copland was born  November 14, 1900, in Brooklyn, NY.  He did not grow up in a musical family. His parents were Russian immigrants who never even went to a concert.
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By the time he was 9 Copland began making up tunes at his family's piano.  After two years of fooling around on the instrument, he began to take lessons from his sister Laurine.  At age 14 he began taking professional piano lessons.  By age 15 he had decided to become a composer. His first steps included a correspondence course in writing harmony. 

Copland now began music study in earnest.  He studied harmony and counterpoint with Rubin Goldmark 
1917-1921, and began piano with Clarence Adler in 1919.


In 1921, Copland went to Paris to attend the newly founded American Conservatory at Fontainebleau.  His teacher there was Nadia Boulanger.
To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.
                   Aaron Copland
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Did You Guess?
Although the house is now frequently called Copland House, it was  known as Rock Hill when Copland bought it.  You can learn about Rock Hill by clicking HERE.

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Then Copland's music turned more simple.  He began to gain inspiration from American legends and folk music.  It was during this period that Copland wrote such classics as Billy the Kid and Rodeo.  He also wrote the score for the film Of Mice and Men during this period.  1942 saw the premiere of Fanfare for the Common Man and A Lincoln Portrait.  October 4, 1945, was the premiere of Aaron Copland's orchestral suite of Appalachian Spring ballet at Carnegie Hall. It was played by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Artur Rodzinski.  His works evolved to somewhat reflect the tastes of the times.  He even did some work using the 12-tone scale. 

After 1971 Copland stopped composing, but he continued to conduct and teach. He was helpful and generous to young composers, often promoting their music along with his own.

Among the many honors Coplan received were the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Americaís highest civilian honor (1964); Commanderís Cross of the Order of Merit from West Germany, membership in Institut de France and Britainís Royal Philharmonic Society (1970); the National Medal of Arts and the Congressional Gold Medal (1986)

Aaron Copland died December 2, 1990 in Westchester, NY.
After 3 years in Paris, Copland returned to the United States with a commission, writing a major organ work for his teacher to play during her American tour. His Symphony for Organ and Orchestra premiered at Carnagie Hall in 1925. By his mid 20's his work was known by other composers. After returning from Paris he worked with jazz rhythms in his Piano Concerto (1926). His Piano Variations (1930) was influenced by Stravinsky's Neoclassical style.