Aaron Copland is generally remembered for his orchestral works. In his composing career, he produced only one song cycle, Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson. This stunning piece of music is playful, tragic, personal, perennial, and ethereal. Now, more than ever, the combination of Dickinson’s words and Copland’s music language are relevant and revelatory. Music critic Peter Dickinson stated that Copland’s song cycle was “the most convincing musical interpretation of one of the nineteenth century’s greatest poets.” This class will be an in-depth look at Copland’s song cycle. We will explore Dickinson’s poetry, listen to musical excerpts, and discuss the manner in which Copland musically captures Dickinson’s verse. There is a lot to unpack in both Dickinson and Copland’s work. Together we will discover new facets and greater appreciation for this masterpiece.
Annina Hsieh is a Boston-based soprano and educator. Praised for her sensitivity as a performer, Hsieh strives to connect with audiences in opera and recital settings, and was the 2019 winner of the Handel and Haydn Society’s Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence. She completed her Master of Music in Voice Performance at Cleveland Institute of Music, and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Ithaca College.
As a teacher, Hsieh works with students to develop and use their natural voice to express themselves through song. Hsieh believes that, above all, lessons should be tailored to each student’s learning style and musical goals. She works with beginning and advanced students of all ages and has taught students in classical, musical theater, jazz, folk, and pop repertoire.