Aaron Copland was born on November 14, 1900, in Brooklyn, New York. Copland studied piano as a child and at age 20, moved to France where he studied piano and composition. In the mid-1920's he returned to the United States and began a long and fruitful career as a composer, conductor, and author.
Copland was an American composer through and through. He loved the idea of creating music that explored jazz and Latin American sounds and other music that he thought uniquely reflected American culture. He also composed a lot of music for films. Some of his best know works are: Piano Variations, The Dance Symphony, El Salon Mexico, A Lincoln Portrait, Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, and Fanfare for the Common Man.
During his life, he won a Pulitzer Prize, an Oscar, and was nominated for several Academy Awards. Copland died on December 2, 1990, in North Terrytown, New York.
One of his best known and loved pieces, Fanfare for the Common Man, is featured below. For full effect, turn your speakers up loud!
If you just can't get enough Copland (I know I can't), here's an additional selection. I'm sure you will recognize this one!