American composer Aaron Copland was born to Jewish parents on November 14, 1900 in Brooklyn, NY. Composer, teacher, writer, and conductor, Copland is best known for his compositions for ballets including Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, Rodeo, and his Fanfare for the Common Man. Although he is well known for those ballets, Copland incorporated jazz and avant-garde sounds into his early works. Copland is sometimes referred to as the “the Dean of American Composers” as he was instrumental in forging a new American style of musical composition. In addition to his ballets and orchestral works, he produced music in many other genres including chamber music, vocal works, opera and film scores. Many of his works with their slow changing harmonies that bring to mind what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit.
His exceptional and innovative works have been played by many orchestras. His Hoedown and Fanfare for the Common Man were incorporated into the works of rock musicians Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.