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   PAUL BOWLES, AARON COPLAND, PHILLIP RAMEY

 

MUSICAL FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES, Part Two

 

In February 1930, composer Henry Cowell wrote a letter of introduction suggesting that Aaron Copland might wish to meet an aspiring young composer. Copland agreed, and he gave regular music composition lessons to Paul Bowles primarily in New York, but also briefly in Paris and Berlin. During this period they became close friends. After visiting Gertrude Stein in the south of France in August 1931, Paul Bowles made his first trip to Tangier, Morocco, accompanied by Copland. In Tangier they composed music in a rented house near the top of the Old Mountain Road, and later they visited Fez.

The composer and writer Phillip Ramey first met Paul Bowles in New York in 1969, and beginning in the early 1980s, Phillip Ramey became Bowles's neighbor in Tangier for several months of each year, and he visited Bowles on an almost daily basis, often discussing music and literature.

 

Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland and Paul Bowles, early 1930s. Paul Bowles made his first trip to Tangier, on the advise of Gertrude Stein, in August 1931, accompanied by his friend and music teacher Aaron Copland.

"Aaron Copland remembering the world," evoked in Paul Bowles' 1935 piano piece Portrait of Five.

 

 

Aaron Copland, mid-1930s

 

 

Aaron Copland at his home "Rock Hill", Peekskill, New York. For more information about his house and the American composer Aaron Copland, visit the Copland House Web site.

 

 

Phillip Ramey and Aaron Copland, New York City, 1980

 

 

Composers Aaron Copland and Phillip Ramey at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City, at the time of a nationally-televised 85th birthday concert in honor of Copland which was given by the New York Philharmonic and conducted by Zubin Mehta and Leonard Bernstein. It was broadcast on November 14, 1985. Ramey was the Philharmonic's Program Editor and had orchestrated Copland's piano piece Proclamation for the event.

 

 

Three generations of close composer friends of Paul Bowles: Phillip Ramey (born 1939), Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), Aaron Copland (1900-1990), in Ann Arbor, Michigan, September 1967, at the premiere of Copland's Inscape, given by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic at the first concert of a U. S. tour.

 

 

Phillip Ramey

 

 

Phillip Ramey revising his Horn Concerto, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic; Salle Beckett, Tangier 1989

 

 

Phillip Ramey with the British pianist Stephen Gosling during recording sessions for a compact disc devoted entirely to his piano music, Purchase, New York, March 2003; among the works in the album on the English label Toccata Classics (released in February 2006) are four of Ramey's Tangier Portraits, including Paul Bowles at Eighty.

 

 

Among Phillip Ramey's Tangier Portraits is "Paul Bowles: at Eighty". This CD of his piano music was released in early 2006 on the new British label Toccata Classics, available internationally.

 

 

Phillip Ramey in Agadir, Morocco, September 2004. His autobiography-in-progress traces not only his career as a composer, pianist and writer, but his long friendship with Paul Bowles and professional associations with Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Virgil Thomson and Vladimir Horowitz. His book, Irving Fine: An American Composer in His Time, was released in December 2005 by Pendragon Press in association with The Library of Congress. Phillip Ramey received the 2006 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Nicolas Slonimsky Award for Outstanding Musical Biography. Ramey’s most recent large-scale works are J.F.K.: Oration for Speaker and Orchestra (with texts from speeches by President John F. Kennedy) and Piano Sonata No. 6.

 

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