Copland and Bernstein

Composers Datebook for November 14, 2010


November 14, 2011
Leonard Bernstein with Aaron Copland
Bernstein with composer, mentor and friend, Aaron Copland at Bernardsville, NJ. August 1945
Music Division, Library of Congress

This date has special significance in the lives of two of America's great composers and conductors: Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland. For one, it is Copland's birthday. For another, it is the day that the two met. Other important events are listed below and can be heard on the above audio from Composer's Datebook.

11/14/1900 — American composer Aaron Copland born, in Brooklyn, N.Y.;

11/14/1937 — Leonard Bernstein meets Aaron Copland in New York City;

11/14/1943 — Leonard Bernstein's surprise conducting debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic, substituting at the last minute for the ailing Bruno Walter; The program consisted of works by Robert Schumann, Miklos Rosza, Richard Strauss, and Richard Wagner;

11/14/1954 — Leonard Bernstein writes and hosts a famous "Omnibus" telecast on the sketches of the 1st movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5;

11/14/1980 — Leonard Bernstein conducts the National Symphony (Washington, D.C.) in a concert celebrating Aaron Copland 80th birthday featuring Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," with Copland as the narrator;

Copland conducts the final movement of his third symphony. See if you recognize the thematic material at the beginning (and throughout).