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MMD > Archives > April 2009 > 2009.04.24 > 01Prev  Next


Aaron Copland/Copeland
By Albert Petrak

About Aaron Copland: there is no "e" in his surname.  As David Mason
Greene explains in his remarkable "Biographical Encyclopedia of
Composers":

    "His father, Harris Copland, emigrated from Russia to England when
    he was fifteen, where he would have been Kaplan, had not the
    customs registrar had an independent notion of phonics."

When I interviewed Aaron Copland for a program on the local classical
station, WCLV, on the occasion of his visit to Cleveland for his 75th
birthday, I asked him if that mistake annoyed him, and he said, with a
wave of his hand, "It used to ... but I got over that quickly, as I was
grateful for the recognition."  I asked him if he knew who had recorded
his "Cat and the Mouse" piece first, and he denied knowledge.  I told
him I had the RCA 78 played by then much-recorded house pianist for the
firm, Jesus Maria Sanroma.  "Well, you're better than I am," he said.
"I couldn't have told you who did it, but I never forgot the feeling
aroused by the French publisher, Durand, telling me he wanted to
publish it, when I was in Paris.  It was my very first composition.
Thrilling, not?"

His answer to my question about what he was working on for his next
composition was, "Albert, I've simply stopped.  I am completely unable
to produce a new note.  I am stuffed up musically."  He was a real
gentleman, I thought, and so did the audience for the show.

Albert M. Petrak, Founder
The Reproducing Piano Roll Foundation


(Message sent Fri 24 Apr 2009, 13:14:04 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Aaron, Copland/Copeland

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