Appalachian Spring is a modern score composed by Aaron Copland that premiered in 1944 and has achieved widespread and enduring popularity as an orchestral suite. The ballet, scored for a thirteen-member chamber orchestra, was created upon commission of choreographer and dancer Martha Graham with funds from the Coolidge Foundation headed by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge; it premiered on Monday, October 30 1944, at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. The set was designed by the Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Copland was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his achievement.
In 1945, Copland rearranged the ballet work as an orchestral suite, preserving most of the music. The ballet and orchestral work were well received. The latter was credited as more important in popularizing the composer. In 1972, Boosey & Hawkes published a version of the suite fusing the structure of the orchestral suite with the scoring of the original ballet: double string quartet, bass, flute, clarinet, bassoon, and piano. All three versions continue to be performed in full. In 1954, Eugene Ormandy asked Copland to expand the orchestration for the...