Often defined as a pioneer of American music, Aaron Copland was born in 1900 into a Jewish immigrant family in Brooklyn, New York. He received music training in France, but rejected the European, neo-Romantic style to create a uniquely modern style incorporating American popular motifs.

It would be hard to find an American who hasn't heard Copland's compositions. His more well-known pieces are "Appalachian Spring," "Fanfare for the Common Man," and "The Tinderland.” His operas, ballets, film scores, chamber and choral music earned him a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, and a Presidential Medal.

Unlike many gay men at the time, Copland was not tormented or embarrassed by his sexuality, and throughout life was involved with same-gender relationships without a falter in his career.

This Rainbow Minute was read by John DeBoer.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 3:59am, 7:59am, 9:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.