... to a favorite American composer of mine, among the most of 'American' of composers, Aaron Copland, born on this day in 1900.
A number of compositions are among what is called 'those old chestnuts' ... works that show up perenially on concert programs ... works such as Appalachian Spring, which displayed Copland's genius for finding a balance between modern music and American folk styles, capturing the essence of an ideal America while forging a distinctly American style of composition, and earning the title, “dean of American composers.”
Here is Wikipedia's entry on Copland, and a really nice, multi-media Copland Artist Page from NPR Music. Another nice stop is this site for Copland House.
Here's the man himself at the keyboard, in a performance of one of his lesser-known works ...