Aaron Copland works on Billy the Kid


Commentary by Robin Rausch
Music Specialist at The Library of Congress

One of the items in the treasures case is Aaron Copland's manuscript score to the ballet "Billy the Kid," which he worked on at the MacDowell Colony in 1938. And Copland first came to the MacDowell Colony in 1925 when he was working on his "Music for the Theater," which was to be premiered by Serge Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra that fall.

And Copland would later recall that that summer at the Colony was the first time that he came into contact with artists working in different disciplines. Copland acknowledged, "If my music has been connected in people's minds with America, if people find some reflection of the American spirit in my music, then certainly the Colony must have some of the credit."

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