Mannes School Of Music Presents Aaron Copland Concert At Alice Tully Hall

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Mannes School Of Music Presents Aaron Copland Concert At Alice Tully Hall

The New School's College of Performing Arts (COPA) today announced Aaron Copland: An American Portrait, a one-of-a-kind concert and performance at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall honoring Aaron Copland's legacy as a visionary composer and citizen-artist. CoPA's Mannes Orchestra, in partnership with the university's School of Drama, will perform Copland's A Lincoln Portrait and Symphony No. 3 as well as Art in an Uneasy World, a newly devised dramatic work based on Copland's testimony during the 1953 anticommunist hearings on "un-American activities." The concert will take place on Saturday, October 26th at 7:30 pm.

Aaron Copland is recognized as one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th Century for his tremendous breadth of style and originality of his work, which made it uniquely American. What is lesser celebrated is Aaron Copland, the citizen activist, who was deeply concerned about the plight of his fellow Americans during the depression, founded multiple organizations to support and advocate for composers, scored anti-Nazi films in the 1940s, and was a staunch patriot questioned in 1953 by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

"The New School was founded by John Dewey, James Beard, James Harvey Robinson, Alvin Johnson, and Thorsten Veblen as a place of refuge out of a culture that feared and ostracized radical thinkers, political dissidents, and nearly any individual who dared to speak out against the nation's involvement in World War I," said Richard Kessler, Dean of Mannes and Executive Dean for the College of Performing Arts. "Copland's life both personal and professional, was deeply shaped by those same external forces. Today, once again, those same forces of fear, hate, and intolerance loom large in American society and politics. We hope that this evening will tie together all of these threads, and provide the opportunity for reflection on how far we have come, and how far we have to go."

Art in an Uneasy World, conceived by Pippin Parker, Dean of the School of Drama, and faculty member Isaac Butler, brings to life Copland's testimony during the 1953 hearings. Directed by Butler, the piece will be presented semi-staged, featuring MFA actors from the School of Drama and the Mannes Orchestra. A Lincoln Portrait and Symphony No. 3 are among Copland's most well-known pieces, reflecting a visionary style that incorporated a range of American genres, including jazz, folk and connections to Latin America. The Mannes Orchestra is conducted by faculty member David Hayes.

"As a composer, Copland celebrated America, inventing a sound which continues to evoke the expanse of our nation and richness of our history," said Pippin Parker, Dean of the School of Drama. "As an advocate for freedom of expression and American ideals, he held true to his beliefs with incredible dignity and optimism, despite having his patriotism questioned at the highest level of government. We are proud to honor his art and his legacy."

This all-Copland concert comes at an important time for The New School, which celebrates its Centennial this year. From 1927 to 1938 Copland taught multiple courses and organized a regular series of new music concerts at "The New School for Social Research." Eventually, his New School lectures would appear in the form of two books-What to Listen for in Music (1937) and Our New Music (1940). He made many important friends and connections while at The New School, including Martha Graham, who commissioned Copland to write Appalachian Spring with funds from the Coolidge Foundation.

Tickets: $10. On sale: September 26th via and the Alice Tully Hall Box Office or call Center Charge: 212-721-6500

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