Koussevitzky became music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra just as Copland was returning from France to America in 1924. He asked Copland to compose a large orchestral work with organ for Boulanger to play with Walter Damrosch in New York and with him in Boston. "I had never heard a note of my own orchestration," exclaimed Copland, "but Nadia and Koussevitzky both said, 'You can do it! I will never forget the thrill of the glorious sound of the orchestra playing my own music for the first time."
-Vivian Perlis, 1998