A Lincoln Portrait
From the New York Philharmonic Shelby White & Leon Levy Digital Archives

Click on a signature or text for a closer look

About this Score

During World War II, the conductor Andre Kostelanetz commissioned Aaron Copland to compose a musical portrait of a great American figure. He created A Lincoln Portrait, a dramatic work for orchestra and narrator, and used President Abraham Lincoln’s own words from letters and speeches to supply the text.

At subsequent performances, Kostelanetz asked the narrators to autograph his score. On the facing page is Copland’s own type-written description of his work.

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, the New York Philharmonic presents the score used by Andre Kostelanetz signed by the many narrators with whom he shared the stage.

Click on the autographs to read each narrator’s dedication and listen to an excerpt from his or her performance.

Listen to an excerpt of the narration by:

View entire score in the Digital Archives