Here is a weekend vote to entertain you and prompt a discussion of American composers, on this July 4th weekend, when we celebrate Independence Day in the United States.
I'm very aware this list does not represent every American composer there is! So I invite you to participate in the vote, choosing the one that most closely aligns to your tastes and then please share your thoughts (as well as your "real" favorite if it is different from this list) in the comments.
Below I've compiled videos, one for each composer represented in the vote. They are in alphabetical order. I hope you can enjoy the pieces you know, and learn a few new ones! (To leave a comment just scroll way down.)
The BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop, performs John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine - BBC Proms 2014:
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, performs Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings:
Cynthia Erivo performs "Somewhere" from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2017:
Minnesota Orchestra, with Eiji Oue conducting, performs Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring Suite:
Pianist Christopher O'Riley performs George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Barry Wordsworth conducting:
The New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by James Sommerville, performs Jennifer Higdon's "Blue Cathedral" in 2013:
Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag, 1908, played by the composer, as preserved by a Pianola roll:
The Los Angeles Philharmonic plays "Sorrow" from William Grant Still's Symphony No. 1, "Afro-American":
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs Joan Tower's "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman":
How do you pick a John Williams piece, when he wrote the music for Star Wars, Harry Potter, Schindler's List, and so many other movies? I picked my favorite: Anakin's Theme:
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