Music From Copland House

Music From Copland House

Music From Copland House is the internationally-acclaimed touring, resident ensemble based at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home, an award-winning  creative center for American music (www.coplandhouse.org). Hailed by The New York Times for “all the richness of its offerings” and “illuminating essential truths about the music,” Music from Copland House (MCH) occupies a special place as the only wide-ranging American repertory ensemble, journeying across 150 years of the U.S. musical landscape. Provocatively uniting past and present, MCH programs reimagine the entire concert experience through content, format, and presentation. The ensemble’s adventurous and exhilarating concerts have a unique focus on past and present American musical creativity, and the ensemble devises ear-opening, mind-expanding adventures within broad historical and cultural contexts

MCH has been engaged by Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Kennedy Center, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, Merkin Hall, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the Tanglewood, Caramoor, Cape Cod, Bard, SONiC, and Ecstatic Music Festivals, University of Chicago and many other leading concert presenters. The ensemble has also appeared at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, the Universities of Louisville, Buffalo, and South Carolina, Brandeis and Auburn Universities, and many others, and has collaborated with the European Broadcasting Union and National Public Radio on a special production showcasing American music and aired in over 20 European countries. MCH is in its 11th season of its popular mainstage concert series in Westchester County, NY, and is in its inaugural season of its ambitious series at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (telecast by CUNY-TV) in New York City.

“Even when Copland is not on the bill, his spirit guides the programming” (The New York Times). Music from Copland House's vibrant concerts have explored the literary voices of Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Billy Collins; journeyed into the jazz clubs of Harlem, the churches of the South, and the fields of the American heartland; and travelled widely to Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. MCH’s active repertoire includes over 300 works by over 100 American composers, reaching back deep into the 19th century and forward to newly-created pieces. It has commissioned over 50 works, including Sebastian Currier’s Static, which won the highly-coveted Grawemeyer Award. Following widely-praised CDs on Arabesque (the first complete cycle of Copland’s chamber music) and Koch International (devoted, respectively, to music by Currier and John Musto), the ensemble has a growing discography on the Copland House Blend label, which includes new or forthcoming recordings of chamber works by Pierre Jalbert, Kevin Puts, Robert Xavier Rodriguez, and William Albright.

Inspired by Copland’s peerless, lifelong advocacy of American composers, MCH also offers children’s and family programs, master classes, lectures, residencies, creative and career workshops, mentoring programs, and other educational and community outreach activities. Its flagship educational initiative — What’s the Score? in-school composer commissions — received the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award.

Founded by flutist Paul Lustig Dunkel, clarinetist Derek Bermel, violinist Nicholas Kitchen, cellist Wilhelmina Smith, and pianist Michael Boriskin, MCH made its triumphant New York debut as the Opening Night of Merkin Hall’s 1999-2000 season, when it was immediately declared “our paramount keeper of Copland’s flame” (American Record Guide). The ensemble’s five-instrument core (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano) expands and contracts according to its programming, from two to thirteen performers, and features its stellar Founding, Principal and Guest Artists, of whom The Chicago Tribune raved, “Copland would have been proud of them all.”