The Transatlantic Gaze of Aaron Copland

Carol J. Oja

in Making Music Modern

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195058499
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865031 | DOI:
The Transatlantic Gaze of Aaron Copland

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More than any other composer in the generation born around 1900, Aaron Copland (1900-1990) has come to be seen as championing an idiom that was identifiably American. Copland began pursuing a nationalist voice during the 1920s, while keeping pace with the latest developments abroad. During this period, Copland grasped the importance of having both an international purview and a national one. His transatlantic gaze was deeply intertwined with his personal response to neoclassicism. Copland's European connections were reinforced by Paul Rosenfeld, as well as by the modernist climate in New York City, with the high value it placed on new music from abroad. Over the course of the 1920s, Copland kept his transatlantic ties strong by visiting Europe frequently, and played a public role in encouraging Euro-American communication by publishing essays and reviews commenting on his experiences. Through these trips and articles, Copland's relationship to neoclassicism emerged with clarity.

Keywords: Aaron Copland; composer; United States; Europe; modernist music; neoclassicism; new music; Paul Rosenfeld; nationalism; transnationalism

Chapter.  5966 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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