Aaron Copland is justly famous for his ballet music, film scores, and showy fanfares, but his reputation as America’s greatest composer also rests on his sizable output of more formal and abstract compositions. Foremost among these is his seldom-performed Third Symphony. Written in 1946, two years after Appalachian Spring, the symphony is monumentally scaled, heroic, folksy, and euphonious–the best American entry in the genre since Ives’s Third. It also deftly incorporates the splendid and sincerely patriotic Fanfare for the Common Man (1942). Appropriately, the Grant Park Symphony performance of this quintessential American music will be conducted by Catherine Comet, one of the most consistently interesting young American maestros. Also on this unusually thoughtful (by summer-festival standards) program are Ruszcynski’s Living It Up and Schumann’s highly regarded A-minor Piano Concerto, in which Christopher O’Riley will solo. Saturday, 8 PM, and Sunday, 7 PM, Petrillo Music Shell, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson; 819-0614.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Steven J. Sherman.