Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2024

10:00 am - 11:30 am

Finishing up our three-part series featuring the music for the upcoming World Doctors Orchestra concert, we take a look at perhaps the most famous American symphony of all time: Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3. Commissioned by conductor Serge Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra during World War II (just a few short years after Roy Harris’ Symphony No. 3 was premiered by the same orchestra) this symphony was part of a broader search to promote American composers and the desire to create the “American sound,” distinct from the European tradition.

Though the work follows traditional symphonic forms, Copland brings his distinct “Americana” sound that he became famous for through his Western-themed ballet works (Rodeo, Billy the Kid, Appalachian Spring, etc) and the symphony’s success firmly established Copland as the leading composer of American music. While Copland lived another nearly 45 years after composing Symphony No. 3, he did not feel the need to write another one–leaving this work as perhaps his magnum opus of all of his concert music, full of the optimism and heroism that defined the American spirit.