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Appalachian Spring

Appalachian Spring is a composition by Aaron Copland that premiered in 1944 and has achieved widespread and enduring popularity as an orchestral suite. The ballet, scored for a thirteen-member chamber orchestra, was created upon commission of choreographer and dancer Martha Graham with funds from the Coolidge Foundation. It premiered on Monday, 30 October 1944 at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. The set was designed by the American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Copland was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his achievement.

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This is easily one of the most influential pieces of American music written. Ever. Aaron Copland wrote this for famous dancer Martha Graham, and it became part of the collective American consciousness. It was written in the last part of WWII and the subtle rhythms and harmonies worked their way into the hearts of Americans as well as the hymn towards the end, Simple Gifts.

Contributed by Matthew Carstensen

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