During the past century—the hundred years since America entered World War I—what has been (and still might be) the connection between the essentially European traditions of orchestral and symphonic music and the ideals, demands, and predicaments of American democracy? The historical precedents of form and expression that preoccupied the American composers on today’s program emerged…

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Born November 14, 1900 in Brooklyn, New York Died December 2, 1990 in North Tarrytown, New York Composed in 1955 Premiered in 1955 at Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge, Massachusetts Performance Time: Approximately 13 minutes On May 26, 1953, Aaron Copland appeared before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) chaired the committee; the…

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Born December 28, 1896 in Brooklyn, New York Died March 16, 1985 in Princeton, New Jersey Composed in 1944–46 Premiered on January 9, 1947 by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pierre Monteaux Performance Time: Approximately 26 minutes Roger Huntington Sessions was born in Brooklyn and raised in Hadley, Massachusetts. His ancestors included Samuel…

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Born August 25, 1918, in Lawrence, Massachusetts Died October 14, 1990, in New York City Composed in 1961–63; Revised in 1977 Premiered on December 10, 1963 in Tel Aviv by the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein with mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel Performance Time: Approximately 41 minutes As Leonard Bernstein’s biographer Humphrey Burton notes, “Between 1957 and…

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