People

Interesting Facts About Aaron Copland

1) He was a descendant of Russian Jews and spent his childhood in the shop of his parents in Brooklyn.

2) He studied in public schools and graduated from the Boy’s High School in 1918.

3) In the autumn of 1917, he began studies of harmony and counterpoint with Rubin Goldmark.

4) In June 1921 he moved to France to study at the newly established American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, near Paris.

5) Between the autumn of that year and 1924, he studied with Nadia Boulanger.

6) At that time he managed to sell his first music sheet, Scherzo Humoristique for piano, subtitled the Cat and Mouse.

7) In 1924 he returned to the United States and the following year was the first composer who received the Guggenheim Fellowship award.

8) He also composed music for movies. He was nominated several times for an Oscar, winning it in 1950.

9) After having defended to the Communist Party of the United States during the presidential elections of 1936, Copland was investigated by the FBI during McCarthyism in the Decade of the 50’s.

10) On May 16, 1953, he appeared before the Committee of anti-American activities in the U.S. Congress. The research was abandoned in 1955 and closed in 1975 unless they could prove the party membership of Copland.

11) In 1964 he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest distinction for civilians in the United States.

12) He died in 1990 at his home in Peekskill, New York.