Aaron Copland Talks Americana, Martha Graham and Regrets

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In this interview from the WNYC archives, Aaron Copland recalls his early encounters with music and the fact that no one in his family had any professional artistic leanings. He talks about his time spent in Paris, his teacher Nadia Boulanger and a visit to Serge Koussevitzky where the illustrious conductor predicted that he would write a symphony for organ and orchestra for both Koussevitzky and Boulanger. 

The composer comments on his fascination with the American West and his work with dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, and explains the origin of  their most well-known collaboration, Appalachian Spring. Copland also divulges that one wish of his was never fulfilled: he never met Charles Ives. He describes a story about receiving a package from Ives of the composer's self-published songs.

Music heard in this interview includes: Copland’s Piano Variations from the 1930s, performed by pianist William Maizales.

From March 8-30, From the Archives streams weekdays at 7 AM and 8 PM on Q2 Music. For more information on American Mavericks, visit q2music.org/mavericks/.