Thursday, January 29, 2009

Post-Classical Ensemble Complements John Adams's Doctor Atomic Opera With Program On 'Aaron Copland And The Cold War'

Copland and the Cold War
Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 7pm
Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

A Post-Classical Ensemble Production with Benjamin Pasternack, pianist;
Georgetown University Concert Choir and Chamber Singers; actors from Georgetown’s Theater and Performance Studies Program.

Aaron Copland: Cat and Mouse; Piano Variations;
Scherzo (from Piano Sonata); Piano Fantasy
Copland: “Into the Streets May First” (audience sing-along).

Plus a re-enactment of Copland’s testimony before Senator
Joseph McCarthy’s Subcommittee on Special Investigations;
and excerpts from the new Post-Classical Ensemble Naxos DVD
of the classic 1939 documentary film The City, with music by Aaron Copland.

In 1953 Aaron Copland was subpoenaed by Senator Joseph McCarthy and asked about his dealings with Communists. How did the Red Scare impact on the artistic and national identity of America’s most famous concert composer? Our program traces his compositional odyssey: from student years to modernism, to 1930s populism and political radicalism, to a cerebral “late style.”


Header photo:

Aaron Copland, ca. 1961.
Photographic print.
Margery Smith.
Prints and Photographs Division,
Library of Congress (86)

"Aaron Copland’s MacDowell Colony residency in 1925 brought him into contact with artists working in different disciplines for the first time, an experience he credited with changing the way he thought about art in America. Years later, Copland publicly acknowledged the Colony’s influence on his work: “If my music has been connected in people’s minds with America, if people find some reflection of the American spirit in my music, then certainly the Colony must have some of the credit.”"

Photo credit: Courtesy of the MacDowell Colony via the Library of Congress website on A Century of American Creativity, the MacDowell Colony.

Edward MacDowell was a major American classical composer who believed in nurturing an American classical music tradition.


Sharon Percy Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM, in the Nation's Capital, is working to negate this effort by failing to program all but minimal, token amounts of American classical music.

It should be hoped by classical music lovers and all Americans that Sharon Percy Rockefeller will be replaced as President of WETA due to her failure to program American classical music on Classical WETA-FM, in the Nation's Capital.

Another day without American classical music on so-called "public radio" Classical WETA-FM, in the Nation's Capital.


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