On this day, in 1945, at Carnegie Hall, audiences first heard Aaron Copland's orchestral suite of the Appalachian Spring ballet. Conducted by Artur Rodzinski, the New York Philharmonic performed it.
The ballet, from which the ballet originated, premiered the previous October at the Library of Congress. It was choreographed and starred the legendary dancer Martha Graham.
Copland was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1945 for the piece.
The title comes from a phrase in a Hart Crane poem. In "The Dance" he wrote...
O Appalachian Spring! I gained the ledge;
Steep, inaccessible smile that eastward bends
And northward reaches in that violet wedge