Aaron Copland at BAM, 1941

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On the occasion of the Brooklyn Academy of Music's 150th anniversary, we look back at its younger days, 70 years ago.

This is an excerpt from the last concert of the American Music Festival 1941 season. The annual festival focused on American music, and this concert included works by American composers Paul Creston, Abram Foxman, Miriam Gideon, Bernice Robinson, Henry Brandt, Roy Harris, and Morton Gould; speeches by WNYC Station Director Morris Novik and National Youth Administration Director Helen Harris; and a panel on American Music featuring Aaron Copland.

The excerpt presented here is an impassioned speech delivered during intermission time by Aaron Copland. Mr. Copland expounds on how to nurture American music with festivals such as the American Music Festival, and the role radio can play in promoting American music. Mr. Copland starts by recounting his personal connection with the Brooklyn Academy of Music.


(Audio courtesy of New York Municipal Archives)