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Virtual Event

Appalachian Spring: A Musical Romance with America

This program will be available to you through the month of July.  A private link will be emailed to you upon ticket purchase.

$20 Member Price

$25 Non-Member Price

Following the artistic trend of late 19th century American artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany, composers began creating uniquely American sounds in classical music that would reach the “common man” and lift the spirits of everyone who encountered this new music. Join us for this special kick-off to the 4th of July weekend as we celebrate the making of Aaron Copland’s American masterpiece Appalachian Spring. Learn about Jonathon Kirk’s brilliant adaptation of this classical American anthem and then sit back for a performance by Picosa in the Drawing Room of the Nickerson Mansion.

Influenced by Aesthetic Movement decorative arts and design of the late nineteenth century, American composers like Copland entered the post-war, post-depression twentieth century anxious to uplift a hopeful nation by capturing the transformative power of beauty in nature and design in their musical scores. The story of Appalachian Spring illustrates this movement in American classical music, the acts of patronage that accompanied it, and the clever fusion of great European-style classical music with the modern American spirit found in ragtime and jazz that made these melodies more popular amongst the masses.

The work was originally commissioned in 1942 by Chicago philanthropist, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge as a ballet for famed choreographer Martha Graham. The ballet debuted in 1944 with sets by renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi and Graham as the lead dancer. Copland’s musical contribution received critical acclaim, widespread popularity, and the Pulitzer Prize.

Presented in partnership with Picosa, a premier Chicago chamber ensemble, we join Jennie Oh Brown, Executive and Artistic Director, and Jonathon Kirk, Composer-in-Residence, in conversation as they unfold Copland’s popular masterpiece. Then, we will transport you to the vast, bucolic terrain of a young pioneering country with Picosa’s exhilarating performance of Kirk’s adaptation of Appalachian Spring. Your best headphone attire is recommended for this romantic interlude with Copland’s America and our salute to the red, white, and blue.

For your convenience, after the presentation a link to a recording of the lecture will be made available to all ticket holders for the month of July.

This program is dedicated to our founder, Richard H. Driehaus


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