The Selected Correspondence of Aaron Copland Aaron Copland, Elizabeth B. Crist, Wayne Shirley

Publication date:
01 Apr 2006
Yale University Press
288 pages: 235 x 156 x 22mm
10 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

This is the first book devoted to the correspondence of composer Aaron Copland, covering his life from age eight to eighty-seven. The chronologically arranged collection includes letters to many significant figures in American twentieth-century music as well as Copland’s friends, family, teachers, and colleagues. Selected for readability, interest, and the light they cast upon the composer’s thoughts and career, the letters are carefully annotated and each published in its entirety.
Copland was a gifted and natural letter writer who revealed much more about himself in his letters than in formal writings in which he was conscious of his position as spokesman for modern music. The collected letters offer insights into his music, personality, and ideas, along with fascinating glimpses into the lives of such other well-known musicians as Leonard Bernstein, Carlos Chávez, William Schuman, and Virgil Thomson.

Elizabeth B. Crist is assistant professor of music at the University of Texas at Austin. Wayne Shirley is senior music specialist (emeritus) at the Library of Congress.

"An absolutely superb, enlightening collection, opening up to us the 'inner' Copland that he diligently kept closed to the public throughout his life."—H. Wiley Hitchcock, author of Music in the United States

“This meticulous selection from Copland’s letters by two outstanding scholars provides an inside look at the composer's personality, ideas, and extensive musical activities. With spontaneity, optimism, wit, and intelligence, this book reflects the qualities that have made Aaron Copland and his music a favorite among American composers of the twentieth century.”—Vivian Perlis, co-author of Copland 1900–1942 and Copland Since 1943