1900-1990

"You compose because you want to somehow summarize in some permanent form your most basic feelings about being alive, to set down... some sort of permanent statement about the way it feels to live now, today."

Copland’s sexuality was documented in Howard Pollack’s biography, Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of An Uncommon Man. Unlike many gay men of his age, Copland was neither ashamed of nor tortured by his sexuality. He apparently understood and accepted it from an early age, and throughout his life was involved in relationships with other men. In later years, his affairs were mostly with younger men, usually musicians or artists, whom he mentored, including composer Leonard Bernstein, dancer and artist Erik Johns (who wrote the libretto for The Tender Land) photographer Victor Kraft, and music critic Paul Moor. [link]

Aaron Copland listening to an orchestra, with his conducting baton raised.