Charlie "Bird" Parker blew the sound of his soul through his alto and tenor sax, and for many musicians, hearing his music was like a religious conversion. He is immortalized as jazz music's "first existential hero," a blazing talent that burned out at age 35 from heroin, alcohol, and racism.
No composer made more of an effort to immortalize the epic quality of America than Aaron Copland. Though he studied music under conservative German and French teachers in his youth, Copland was constantly tempted to experiment with innovative, contemporary musical styles. Born during the first year o