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'Copland and Mexico'
Five-day concert series highlights this composer and orchestral music south of the border
Arts Story  March 21, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...The name "Aaron Copland" conjures misty Appalachian valleys and broad Midwestern prairies, but this composer whose music is so identified with the American heartland was also deeply inspired by our neighbor to the south, and, in fact, his first major success was with a work based on its music. El Salón México – named for a raucous dance hall that Copland visited with his fellow composer and friend Carlos Chávez – includes themes drawn from a handful of Mexican folk tunes that Copland found in published anthologies, and so captivated audiences that within a couple of years of its 1937 premiere by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Mexico (with Chávez conducting), the piece had been performed by 21 orchestras – more than any of Copland's other works to that date...."

Our Country Mapped in Music
The Austin Symphony's concert with Grantham's Southern Harmony, Copland's Appalachian Spring Suite, and Gershwin's Second Rhapsody gives audiences a chance to hear how some composers describe an American sense of place through music
Arts Story  March 19, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...The astonishing thing about this journey through the eastern United States – besides the fact that you can make it in less than two hours without ever leaving your chair – is that you're seeing all those landscapes with your ear. George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, and Austin composer Donald Grantham have managed to evoke the distinctive characters of New York City, Appalachia, and the South, respectively, through music, using tools of their trade – melody, rhythm, tempo, harmonics, and the like – essentially to "map" these parts of our country...."

Austin Symphony Orchestra: Copland and Mexico
ASO took its audience across the border to let us 'see' our southern neighbor in music
Arts Review  March 28, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...Austin Symphony Orchestra: Copland and MexicoDell Hall at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside, March 21..."

Another Round of Praise
Nominations for the 2007-2008 Austin Critics Table Awards
Arts Story  May 9, 2008, by Robert Faires
"..."Ascendant (sextet in memory of Aaron Copland)," Lingo..."

Spectrum Dance Theater’s Rambunctious
The company’s program, with a new work inspired by the 1966 UT Tower shooting, spoke powerfully to our present moment
Arts Review  November 23, 2016, by Jonelle Seitz
"...Sigh, America – what can our country's artists tell us about ourselves? Spectrum Dance Theater, based in Seattle and headed by revered contemporary choreographer Donald Byrd, joined the top-notch New York-based Aeolus Quartet at the University of Texas for two performances of Byrd's dances to music by American composers. The dances were as varied as the music by Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Vincent Persichetti, Charles Wuorinen, and Yevgeniy Sharlat..."

Circus Maximus
The UT Wind Ensemble's premiere of John Corigliano's Circus Maximus' was more than a concert; it was an event
Arts Review  February 25, 2005, by Robert Faires
"...Conducted playfully by the Longhorn Band's Robert Carnochan, this new work by Austin's Donald Grantham whirled us into a splashy world of reckless abandon, the frisky brass in the lead, flirtatiously bouncing hither and yon. Sobriety returned with Aaron Copland's Emblems, a work from 1964 and full of long, dissonant chords like storm clouds over the heartland..."

Lingo
Lingo's mosaic of dance and music was accessible, unpretentious, and full of life – much like its creators
Arts Review  August 3, 2007, by Michael Kellerman
"...The premiere of Deemer's "Hot, Crazy, Fun," a chamber music ode to Austin, followed. Pianist Reuben Allred and Tosca String Quartet members Leigh Mahoney, Tracy Seeger, Ames Asbell, and Sara Nelson opened with the first of the night's references to Aaron Copland and quickly moved to an energetic, jazzy section that matched the intoxicating spirit of the previous dance..."

Culture Flash!
Stephen Mills makes a dance for ABT, and Elizabeth Crist wins an honor from ASCAP
Arts Column  November 26, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...Elizabeth Crist, assistant professor of Musicology at UT-Austin, is one of nine writers and editors and their publishers to be honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers in the 37th annual ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for outstanding print, broadcast, and new media coverage of music. Crist was recognized for her article "Aaron Copland and the Popular Front," published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society..."

Sergei's Big Score
Austin Symphony conductor Peter Bay has tremendous regard for both Sergei Prokofiev's score and Sergei Eisenstein's images for the 1938 film Alexander Nevsky, and as he prepares for a live performance of the score as the film is being shown, he talks about this remarkable fusion of image and music and what's involved in performing it live.
Arts Story  May 23, 2003, by Robert Faires
"..."In other words, scores which don't just Mickey Mouse what's on the screen. The Aaron Copland scores are very much like that..."

Emily Sings
New Texas Music Works is kicking off the ninth annual New Texas Festival with the Emily Dickinson Song Symposium. A conference dedicated to art songs featuring texts by the master American poet.
Arts Story  May 17, 2002, by Robert Faires
"...This week, the venerable choral organization is hosting a three-day symposium in which there will be sung many strains divine, all with lyrics by the Belle of Amherst herself. The Emily Dickinson Song Symposium is a conference dedicated to art songs featuring texts by the master American poet, and what a fertile field it is! In the last century, more than 100 composers have been inspired to score Dickinson's poetry, everyone from old hands such as Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland -- whose 12 Songs by Emily Dickinson is perhaps the most celebrated example in the field -- to newer folks like Dead Man Walking composer Jake Heggie and Austin's own Donald Grantham..."

New Sounds of the Season
Christmas cheer for the ear from UT Wind Ensemble, Austin Symphony Orchestra, and Conspirare
Arts Story  December 11, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...Symphony No. 4, written in 1940, carries some of the weight of the Depression on its shoulders, but also boasts some of the muscle of that period's regionalism, especially as heard in Aaron Copland's music..."

Figure in the Frame
The exhibit Arnold Newman: Masterclass gives us all a lesson in the power of the photographic portrait
Arts Story  March 15, 2013, by Katherine Catmull
"...(Examples of his precise instructions, scribbled in red on contact sheets throughout the exhibit, are fascinating and telling.) But it also uses HRC archival material to turn viewers into learners. Beside his portrait of the composer Aaron Copland is Newman's contact sheet with three other, near-identical Copland poses..."

Austin Chamber Musical Festival Sixth Annual Pride Concert
Was G.F. Handel on your Gaydar?
Arts Story  July 10, 2014, by Natalie Zeldin
"...On the list of gay and lesbian composers whose music is celebrated in the Austin Chamber Music Festival's annual Pride Concert, figures from the 20th and 21st centuries predominate – which isn't surprising considering how recently Western culture has begun to remove the stigma around sexual orientation. But when this year's program is performed on July 17, among the remarkable modern music makers such as Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Ben Weber, Julius Eastman, and Thomas Otis will be a surprising cameo: 17th century composer George Frideric Handel...."

Butler School of Music
Two concerts – one by Harvey Pittel, one for the late Rose Taylor – pay tribute to 'living in a song'
Arts Story  January 24, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...Among the other musicians taking part will be pianists Gregory Allen, Rick Rowley, Carla McElhaney, and Jeanne Sasaki; singers Claire Vangelisti, Amber Alarcon, Gil Zilkha, Shaunna Shandro, and Nicole Taylor. The UT Chamber Singers will perform "My Love Is Like a Red Red Rose," and the Texas Choral Consort, led by Artistic Director Brent Baldwin, will close the service with "Down to the River to Pray," "Draw the Circle Wide," and Aaron Copland's setting of "At the River," with all the service participants joining in song..."

A Double Life
Splitting the difference between Peter Schickele and his alter ego, P.D.Q. Bach
Arts Story  February 26, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...AC: When you started to study music, were you influenced by what was going on at that time in the field – the push and pull of serialism and atonal music or the legacy of composers like Roy Harris and Aaron Copland?..."

They're a Little Odd and Don't Know It
Randy Newman likes Billy Joel?
Music Story  September 19, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...AC: There's something so, for lack of a better word, American sounding in your music. Were you mainlining Stephen Foster and Aaron Copland and George Gershwin when you were a kid? It seems to be in your bloodstream...."

UT Chamber Singers/Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble: Vox Americana redux
American choral music earns more big love in 2007 with back-to-back concerts of American vocal works by the UT Chamber Singers and the Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble
Arts Story  March 30, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...First up are UT's Chamber Singers, a choir with a strong grounding in the material, having already recorded one CD of American choral music for the Naxos label and set to record a second in May. Their program – which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the ensemble's founding – will range from folk songs arranged by Aaron Copland, George Mead, and Mark Wilberg to Lukas Foss' Psalms and Vincent Persichetti's Mass to Irving Fine's The Hour-Glass, William Bolcom's The Mask, and the Walt Whitman-inspired Carols of Death, by William Schuman..."

They Hear America Singing!
Grammy-nominated Conspirare brings together 600 voices in search of our national sound
Arts Story  January 26, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...What I'm getting at here is: What makes an American song American? What's the sound that belongs uniquely to our country? Is it something found only in musical forms that were planted and sprouted here, like, say, spirituals, ragtime, jazz, soul, rock & roll? What about certain composers and songwriters whose work seems ineffably to capture in melody the land of the free and home of the brave? I'm thinking of folks such as Aaron Copland, John Philip Sousa, Woody Guthrie, Scott Joplin...."

Za vashe zdorov'ye, Shostakovich!
Fifteen local arts organizations work together to celebrate Shostakovich's 100th birthday
Arts Story  March 18, 2005, by Robert Faires
"...Austin didn't do much to mark the recent centenaries of Kurt Weill, Aaron Copland, Richard Rodgers, or William Walton, and it looks as if we'll let the 100-year birth anniversaries of Marc Blitzstein and Harold Arlen in 2005 pass without fanfare, but we've got Shostakovich covered! The Russian composer passes the century mark in 2006, and a full 15 area arts organizations are working together to commemorate the occasion with performances, lectures, symposiums, perspectives, and art exhibitions. Austin Lyric Opera Artistic Director Richard Buckley is at the head of this effort, which has already been a year in the planning, and his company will launch the festivities – officially known as Shostakovich 100: Austin Celebrates – with a staging of the composer's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Jan..."

November is Dvorák month in Austin!
The University of Texas is marking the centenary of Dvorák's death with an ambitious multidisciplinary festival called "New Worlds: Dvorák in Search of America."
Arts Story  November 5, 2004, by Katherine Catmull
"...Using as a springboard Dvorák's brilliantly fruitful visit to our country from 1892 to 1894, during which he served as director of the New York National Conservatory of Music and composed some of his finest work, the festival will examine how Dvorák's efforts to teach our nation's young composers how to find the true American musical voice fit in the late 19th-century search for an American identity. It was a search that anticipated the more familiar American music of Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Roy Harris, and others decades later, as well as the development of one of our greatest and most truly American art forms: jazz (and its happy, scraggly stepchildren, rock and R&B)...."

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