Program Biography

MUSIC FROM COPLAND HOUSE (MCH) is the award-winning resident ensemble at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in New York’s lower Hudson Valley, a unique creative center for American music.  Since its trium­phant New York debut as the Opening Night of Merkin Hall’s 1999-2000 season, Music from Copland House has come to occupy a special place on the U.S. musical scene.  It is “our paramount keeper of Copland’s flame” (American Record Guide), and perhaps this country’s only wide-ranging American repertory ensemble, journeying through more than 300 works by over 100 U.S. composers spanning 150 years of our nation’s rich musical landscape.
Hailed by The New York Times for performances that are “all exuberance and bright sunshine,” MCH has been engaged by Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the Caramoor, Cape Cod, Cooperstown, and Bard Music Festivals, and other leading concert presenters, and has collaborated with NPR and Euro-Radio on a special concert of American works broadcast in over 20 countries. It has also appeared in Mexico, and is the featured ensemble at Copland House's popular mainstage concert series at the historic Merestead estate north of New York City.  The ensemble has commissioned over 30 compositions, including Sebastian Currier's Static, which won the prestigious 2007 Grawemeyer Award, and 3 from Chinese-Americans composers, which it premiered in collaboration with the Music from China ensemble at the Merkin Hall's 2012 Ecstatic Music Festival.  It has also made several widely-praised recordings for Arabesque and Koch International, and has a growing discrography on the new Copland House Blend label.  Inspired by Copland’s peerless, lifelong advocacy of American composers, MCH also presents a wide variety of educational and community outreach activities.  MCH concerts feature the ensemble’s much-admired Founding Artists –clarinetist-composer Derek Bermel, pianist Michael Boriskin, flutist-conductor Paul Lustig Dunkel, violinist Nicholas Kitchen, and cellist Wilhelmina Smith – and a stellar array of acclaimed Principal and Guest Artists.