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An Appreciation of Aaron Copland

William H. Bonney

In 1938, the American frontier got its very own ballet.

After a long period of what seems in hindsight apprentice work, Aaron Copland achieved Master status in the American musical canon in 1938, with a ballet commissioned by Lincoln Kirstein, and named for the western gun-slinger William H. Bonney, or Billy the Kid.

In the world of orchestral music, “Billy the Kid” was America’s “Declaration of Independence.” Copland, composing for the choreography of Eugene Loring, broke away … Continue Reading