Aaron Copland: Champion of American Composers.

Posted by: Dave Douglas on January 21, 2011 @ 2:44 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts)

In his lifetime, Aaron Copland gave us so much music, and so much specifically American music. We just heard Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man once again played at an important national moment: the memorial ceremony in Tucson, Arizona. It was uplifting to once more hear that piece under such powerful circumstances.

What may be less known is how much time and effort Copland gave to other composers. One enduring aspect of that generosity is the residency created at his home in Cortlandt, New York. I have the good fortune of residing in the studio this month and it is a gift of peace, focus, and creative intensity. Needless to say, writing is going rather well under the circumstances.

The music collection here is daunting. I had hoped to blog about some discoveries among the recordings, scores, and books, and I may still do that, but right now it is impossible to single out anything. There is simply too much. And with the beautiful piano and the old pine writing desk, it’s hard to stop writing. I can only encourage other composers to apply, and once again thank Aaron Copland for providing this incredible resource for all of us.

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