The Aaron Copland House, known as Rock Hill, home where Aaron Copland lived and composed for over 30 years, is located at 1538 Washington Street, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567 in northern Westchester County.
From Copland House: "The house known as Rock Hill was built around 1940 on Lower Washington Street, in a section of the city of Peekskill that subsequently became Cortlandt Manor. Originally constructed by an architect for himself and his family, the six-room, prairie-style house and separate garage with duplex apartment sit atop 2.5 secluded, hilly acres in a quiet residential area. As you leave the road and ascend a long, winding driveway through the woods, Rock Hill gradually comes into view. Your first impressions are of lush woods and stone walls. Large picture windows afford a glimpse of knotty pine within.
"Aaron Copland gave up his Manhattan apartment and studio for good in 1947. He initially rented a house on the banks of the Hudson River and then bought his first home in 1952 in Ossining. Quickly outgrowing the latter, he bought Rock Hill in 1960, and moved in following that summer's Tanglewood Festival. He was still surrounded by unpacked cartons when journalists from Time and Newsweek visited the house to interview him for his coming 60th birthday in November. Though born and raised in Brooklyn and a city-dweller for many years, Copland adored country living, and this house in particular. His memoirs convey the excitement of his initial impression of Rock Hill:
One look at the grounds with the Hudson in the distance, the gardens, and woods, and the house with the separate studio, and I was sold! When I first saw the studio, I said that it looked like a room where a composer could write music.
"He lived at Rock Hill for three decades, longer by far than any of his previous homes. During those years, Rock Hill served as Coplandís base for his multifaceted international career. Although his compositional activities were then winding down, Copland worked on several important compositions at Rock Hill, including the Nonet for strings, Emblems for symphonic band, the orchestration of much of the great Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson, the Duo for flute and piano, the orchestral works Connotations (for Lincoln Centerís inauguration) and Inscape (for the New York Philharmonicís 125th Anniversary), and the film score for Something Wild and the large symphonic work that he derived from it,
Music for a Great City
for the London Symphony. He was also extensively active as a conductor, recording artist, author, lecturer, and, as always, tireless proponent of contemporary music. Rock Hill was a mecca of musical activity and destination for aspiring young composers, colleagues, interviewers, scholars, and schoolchildren.
"On display at Rock Hill are photos of Copland and his friends and colleagues, musical and literary books and periodicals that he loved to read, and various other memorabilia. A mature forest now obscures Coplandís beloved view of the nearby Hudson River, but instead provides a curtain of privacy and serenity around the house. Spare, practical, unostentatious, at one with the environmentóRock Hill is a symbol of Coplandís values and personality, and reflects the atmosphere of tranquility and seclusion that was so important to him."
Press blue button
for source of information and more about the Copland House, where Aaron Copland composed and lived for over 30 years.
Attractions at Copland House in Cortlandt Manor
Guided tours of Rock Hill (by appointment only)
Tour home of Aaron Copland
Location: Cortlandt Manor