June 22 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Conductor and Artistic Director
Appalachian Spring may be the most instantly recognizable work in all American music. Aaron Copland composed it in 1943-44 in response to a commission from Martha Graham and Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge for “a ballet on an American theme”. It was an instant success when Martha Graham and her troupe first danced it at the Library of Congress in October 1944. The following year, the conductor Artur Rodzinski asked Copland to rearrange the score as an orchestral suite, and Copland did this in the spring of 1945 while staying at a cottage on the Claremont estate on Bernardsville Mountain. The original 13-instrument ballet score now became a full orchestral score, somewhat shorter than the ballet, and that is how it will be heard when Music in the Somerset Hills brings it home to the Somerset Hills on Saturday, June 22. This concert, which will also feature works by Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber (Copland’s longtime friends and companions at Claremont), is dedicated to a singular moment when the originality and creativity of American music reached what many might say was its zenith …… on Bernardsville Mountain in the spring of 1945.