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George Gershwin

George Gershwin (Composer)

Born: 26th September 1898, Brooklyn, New York

Died: 11th July 1937, Los Angeles

Nationality: American

George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist, whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs "Swanee" (1919) and "Fascinating Rhythm" (1924), the jazz standards "Embraceable You" (1928) and "I Got Rhythm" (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), which included the hit "Summertime".

Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell, and Joseph Brody. He began his career as a song plugger but soon started composing Broadway theater works with his brother Ira Gershwin and with Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, but she refused him, afraid that rigorous classical study would ruin his jazz-influenced style; Maurice Ravel voiced similar objections when Gershwin inquired on studying with him.

Further Reading: Gershwin

 Interview, Martin James Bartlett on Rachmaninov and Gershwin

The pianist talks about his new album that draws links between two giants of the early twentieth century, via Earl Wild and the New York jazz scene in the 1920s.

 Interview, Kirill Gerstein on The Gershwin Moment

The pianist talks to Katherine about his new album, which includes the jazz-band version of Rhapsody in Blue, the Piano Concerto in F, and song transcriptions by Earl Wild.

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