Aaron Copland

Fun Facts

  • Copland suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

  • Copland was a highly awarded composer, earning the Pulitzer Prize, multiple Academy Award nominations, and an Oscar. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and a special Congressional Gold Medal.

  • Hundreds of young composers, including Leonard Bernstein, found a mentor in Aaron Copland.

  • The compositions of Aaron Copland were often used to raise the morale of American soldiers during World War II.

  • A talented and versatile composer, Copland wrote ballets, orchestral music, chamber music, vocal works, operas and film scores.

  • Copland had the ability to "paint pictures" with his compositions.

  • Appalachian Spring was Copland's first real hit.

  • Copland's distinctly American-flavored compositions earned him the title "Dean of American Composers."

  • Jewish emigrants from Lithuania, Aaron Copland's parents came to the United States through Ellis Island.

  • When he was just eight years old, Copland started writing music. His early musical instruction was from his older sister, Laurine.

  • At age fifteen, Copland decided to become a composer after attending a recital given by the Polish pianist Paderewski.

  • Copland authored two best-selling books on music and music appreciation.

More Resources

Fun Facts

Check out our collection of interesting and (some) little known facts about Copland.

Biography

View Aaron Copland's full biography.