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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, Alison Balsom on Quiet City

The trumpet-player discusses her new album of music by composers including Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein and Ives, and reflects on the unique qualities of Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie...

Recording of the Week, Alison Balsom's Quiet City

Alison Balsom and the Britten Sinfonia offer a colourful collection of works and arrangements that place the trumpet firmly at the centre of attention.

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