Aaron Copland Fund Awards $600,000 In Recording Grants

Aaron Copland Fund Awards $600,000 In Recording Grants

For all those worried about the recording future of new American music, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music hopes to offer a bit of encouragement. The foundation has awarded grants totaling $600,000 to performing ensembles, presenters, and recording companies across America through its 2002 Recording Program. Thirty-seven organizations have received support for new releases and for reissues of contemporary American music. (A complete list is posted below).

The fund (administered by the American Music Center) received nearly 200 applications from organizations requesting a total of over $2.3 million. From these, an independent five-person panel made award determinations for sixty projects.

“With each passing year the wisdom and generosity of Copland’s bequest is more evident. In Copland’s will, recording ranked high in importance,” commented John Harbison, president of the fund. “Adapting to new modes of production and distribution, the Copland Fund remains committed to the support of recordings of vital and diverse new music, as represented in this year’s list of grants.”

“I screamed when we got it,” admits Tim King, executive director of the Louisville Orchestra. His organization was awarded a total of $62,425 to support a reissuing project of the ensemble’s First Edition Records series (originally released on LP)–recordings of the orchestra performing Lou Harrison, Lukas Foss, Peter Mennin, Alan Hovhaness, Charles Wuorinen, Roy Harris, William Schuman, Karel Husa, Henry Cowell, Norman Dello Joio, Paul Creston, and others.

“I do realize that this amount is extraordinary, but you know it’s an extraordinary project,” King continues. “What the Louisville Orchestra did back in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s was way ahead of what any other orchestra was doing at that time. Now it’s really incumbent upon orchestras to play the music of our time, but you know we were doing it long before anybody else was, just this little orchestra in Louisville, Kentucky.”

The orchestra’s mission has always included the commissioning and recording of new works (Copland himself was once commissioned to write for them). The new First Edition Music label, administered by the Santa Fe Music Group, has endeavored to keep that archival catalogue in print. Though Louisville would love to continue to release new recordings, King says the sound quality of the reissues is excellent, likely aided by the fact that the archival tapes where stored in temperature controlled libraries at the university, “not in somebody’s garage.”

Independent labels trying to stay afloat in the current market were also sent a life raft by the Copland Fund. CRI Executive Director John Schultz acknowledges that “in a time when the retail market has all but collapsed, these foundations play an even greater role in helping CRI to continue its mission of discovery and preservation of new American music.”

Schultz estimates CRI’s production costs for the average album at roughly $6,000 to cover all expenses–artwork, liner notes, editing, photo licenses, text usage, administration costs, CD replication, printing costs for CD booklets and inlay cards. That’s in addition to the cost of producing the master recording.

That financial burden, Schultz says, makes it unlikely that CRI would be able to produce recordings such as these were it not for foundation support from organizations like the Aaron Copland Fund. “The funds that we have been awarded will enable the composer to record the music and edit the master, or, in the case where the recording already has been done, it allows CRI to complete the CD by using the grant to cover post-production expenses. I feel confident in saying that were it not for support from foundations, it would be virtually impossible to release recordings such as these.”

In keeping with his lifelong devotion to the music of America, Aaron Copland created the fund and bequeathed to it a large part of his estate. The fund’s purpose is to encourage and improve public knowledge of contemporary American music. In addition to the Recording Program, the fund established a Performing Ensembles Program and a Supplemental Program for service organizations and other non-profit institutions.


Those receiving funding this round are:

Albany Records, Albany, NY

Works of David Diamond, $10,000
Works of Judith Lang Zaimont, $7,000
Works of Victoria Bond, $10,000
Albany Symphony Orchestra, Albany, NY
Works of Michael Torke, $12,000
Dogs of Desire, $20,000
American Composers Forum, Saint Paul, MN
Fred Ho: All Power to the People! The Black Panther Music/Video Suite, $13,000
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta, GA
Works of John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon and Christopher Theofanidis, $12,500
Bang On A Can, New York, NY
Works of Evan Ziporyn, $10,000
Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Roslindale, MA
John Harbison’s “Ulysses,” $20,000
Bridge Records, New Rochelle, NY
Works of Irving Fine, $3,300
Works of Amy Beach, $7,500
Works of George Crumb, $8,000
Works of David Rakowski, $7,000
Works of Elliott Carter, $7,500
Works of Stephen Jaffe, $14,000
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York, NY
Music of Stephen Hartke, Aaron Jay Kernis, Scott Wheeler, $8,000
Chicago Classical Recording Foundation, Chicago, IL
Works of David Baker, William Banfield, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Michael Abels, $20,000
Cold Blue Music, Venice, CA
Works of John Luther Adams, $12,675
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
American Harpsichord Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries, $10,000
Composers Recordings, Inc. , New York, NY
Works of Melissa Hui, $20,000
Works of Randall Woolf, $15,000
Works of Tom Pierson, $10,000
Works of Henry Martin, $6,000
Delmark Records, Chicago, IL
Africa Brass Project, the music of Malachi Thompson, $10,000
Edward Collins Fund for American Music, Chicago, IL
Music of Edward Joseph Collins, $20,000
Ensemble 21, New York, NY
Music of Jason Eckardt, $9,000
Harvestworks, New York, NY
Music of Nick Didkovsky, $10,000
House Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
Meredith Monk’s “mercy”, $12,500
Jazz Composers Alliance, Allston, MA
Various works of Laura Andel, David Harris, Darrell Katz, Warren Senders, Ken Schaphorst, $16,400
Koch International Classics, New York, NY
Works of Carolyn Yarnell, Marti Epstein, Elaine Kaplinsky, Randall Woolf , $6,000
Louisville Orchestra, Louisville, KY,
Works of Lou Harrison, $5,675
Works of Lukas Foss, $5,675
Works of Peter Mennin, $5,675
Works of various composers, $5,675
Works of Alan Hovhaness, $5,675
Works of Charles Wuorinen, $5,675
Works of Roy Harris, $5,675
Works of William Schuman, $5,675
Works of Karel Husa, $5,675
Works of Henry Cowell and Paul Creston, $5,675
Works of Norman Dello Joio, $5,675
The Moebius Ensemble, New York, NY
Works of Jonathan D. Kramer, $6,500
Music From China, New York, NY
Jason Kao Hwang’s “The Floating Box: A Story in Chinatown”, $10,000
New Albion Records, San Francisco, CA
Music of Lou Harrison, $14,500
New World Records, New York, NY
Works of Beth Anderson, $15,000 Works of Alvin Lucier, $4,500
O.O. Discs, Black Rock, CT
Music of Jin Hi Kim, $5,000
OmniTone, Brooklyn, NY
Dave Liebman, composer with various arrangers, $8,000
Orchestra 2001, Swarthmore, PA
Works of Alec Wilder, $12,000
Other Minds, San Francisco, CA
Music of Ezra Pound, $10,000
Pacific Chorale, Santa Ana, CA
Music of Vincent Persichetti (Te Deum, Stabat Mater, Mass), $6,000
Passin’ Thru, Montclair, NJ
Music of Oliver Lake, $15,000
Pauline Oliveros Foundation, Kingston, NY
Pauline Oliveros’ “Lions’ Eye”, $2,000
Pauline Oliveros’ “Tara’s Room,” “Beauty of Sorrow”, $2,000
Planet Arts Recordings, New York, NY
“New Horizons,” a Sun Ra All-star project, $18,200
The Reich Music Foundation, Baltimore, MD
Steve Reich: 3 Tales, $15,000
Symphony II, Evanston, IL
Music of Jan Bach, $12,500
Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Portland, OR
Works of David Schiff, $10,000
20th Century Consort, Takoma Park, MD
Music of Stephen Albert, $5,000
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, New York, NY
Music of Jim McNeely, $19,000
TOTAL, $600,000

NewMusicBox provides a space for those engaged with new music to communicate their experiences and ideas in their own words. Articles and commentary posted here reflect the viewpoints of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply endorsement by New Music USA.