Music: Copland's Third

The Boston Symphony's Serge Koussevitzky hurried offstage, excitedly kissed several dowagers who had come up to congratulate him. He had just conducted the world premiere of Aaron Copland's Third Symphony. Said he: "There is no doubt about it—this is the greatest American symphony. It goes from the heart to the heart. He is the greatest American composer. Of course."

In the same auditorium 19 years ago Dr. Koussevitzky had led the first performance of Brooklyn-born Aaron Copland's raucous Jazz Concerto. On that evening Bostonians had hissed; some had laughed out loud; some had accused Dr. Koussevitzky of insulting them.* In those...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!