Leo Smit, piano
Copland had long admired Charles Ives and corresponded with him about a pivotal performance of several of the older composer's songs at Yaddo in the 30's. After composing Night Thoughts for the Van Cliburn Competition in 1971, Copland paid his respects to Ives by adding a dedication to Ives in the title. Copland wrote, "While not a virtuosic work, it presented certain difficulties for the three hundred entrants who were required to sight-read it."
Hadn't known that Copland corresponded with Ives till I read this the other day.
It takes a very high form of musical class to compose a non-virtuosic work as a competition piece. This is so much more than a mere competition piece.