Aaron Copland and Vivian Perlis collaborated on two books that detailed the life of one of America's most admired and treasured composers, famous for Fanfare for the Common Man, Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, El Salon Mexico, Lincoln Portrait, and many more works from movie scores to orchestral pieces and chamber music. These books, Copland: 1900 Through 1942 and Copland: Since 1943 have been combined and updated and Ms Perlis has written a new Introduction for The Complete Copland. This candid, colorful memoir begins with Copland's Brooklyn childhood and takes us through his years in Paris, the creation of his early works, and his years at Tanglewood, through his death in 1990 at age 90. Rich with remembrances from Leonard Bernstein, Virgil Thomson, and Nadia Boulanger, as well as a trove of letters, photographs, and scores from Copland's collection, this is one of our most vivid musical autobiographies, and an enduring record of an American maestro's explosively creative coming of age.
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Vivian Perlis is an historian in American music, specializing in twentieth century composers. She is widely known for her publications, lectures, and recording and film productions. On the faculty of the Yale School of Music, Perlis is founding-director of Oral History, American Music, a unique archive of oral and video-taped interviews with leading figures in the music world. This important collection of source materials is well known and widely-used by scholars, historians, broadcasters, and producers.
Book publications by Perlis include Charles Ives Remembered: An Oral History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974), for which she was awarded the Kinkeldey Prize of the American Musicological Society, and "An Ives Celebration" (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976). With composer Aaron Copland, Perlis is co-author of Copland: 1900 Through 1942 (New York: St. Martin's/ Marek, 1984), which garnered a Deems Taylor/ ASCAP award, and Copland: Since 1943 (New York. St. Martin's, 1989). Her most recent book, Composers' Voices from Ives to Ellington, co-authored with Libby Van Cleve, includes two CDs and is derived from interviews in the OHAM archive. Publications by Perlis include numerous articles and reviews. Among her productions are recordings of the music of Leo Ornstein and Charles Ives, and television documentaries on Ives, Eubie Blake, Aaron Copland, and John Cage.
Among honors and awards received by Vivian Perlis are: The Charles Ives Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1972); a Grammy nomination for "Charles Ives 100th Anniversary" (1974); the Harvey Kantor Award for excellence in the field of oral history (1984); a Guggenheim Fellowship (1987); and the Irving Lowens Award for distinguished scholarship in American Music from The Sonneck Society (1991).
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