In June, Copland took the pivotal step in his development as a musician when he left to study in France at the newly established American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, near Paris. There he met Nadia Boulanger, who was to become his and many other American composers' world-renowned teacher. He began to study composition and orchestration with Boulanger in the fall of 1921 and remained her student until 1924.
In the fall of 1921, he sold his first piano piece, Scherzo Humoristique (The Cat and the Mouse), to the publisher Durand.
Wrote the first of many articles for Modern Music
January 11: his Symphony for Organ and Orchestra (1924) was performed by the New York Philharmonic, with Nadia Boulanger as soloist and Walter Damrosch as conductor. It was later performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Serge Koussevitzky, who had originally suggested the composition.
Summer: Copland's first stay at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, where he worked on Music for the Theatre, commissioned by the League of Composers. Its first performance took place in November with Serge Koussevitzky conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Received a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1925-26), the first awarded in music, which was renewed for the 1926-27 season.
January 28: performed his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1926) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Serge Koussevitzky.
Began lecturing at the New School for Social Research, New York.
Wrote Symphonic Ode, for the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1930; later revised it for the orchestra's seventy-fifth anniversary in 1955.
Joined the League of Composers, of which he remained a member until 1954; began serving on its board of directors in 1932.
Assisted Alma Morgenthau Wertheim in establishing the Cos Cob Press, which later became Arrow Music Press.
With Roger Sessions, co-founded the Copland-Sessions Concerts of Contemporary Music (1928-32), New York.
Wrote his first extended piano work, Piano Variations.