George (Jacob) Gershwin (Gershovitz)

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Born: 26 September 1898 — New York — USA
Died: 11 July 1937 — Hollywood — USA
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News for Gershwin

Music

Major concert works

  • Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Orchestra
  • Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra
  • Cuban Overture (Rhumba) for Orchestra
  • Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra
  • An American in Paris

Other concert works

  • Three Preludes for Piano
  • Lullaby for String Quartet
  • Promenade for Orchestra and solo Clarinet

Gershwin wrote literally dozens of musicals for Broadway including Lady be Good, Oh Kay!, the pulitzer prize winning Of Thee I Sing, Girl Crazy, and many, many others. Gershwin wrote countless pop pieces of the time including Swanee, I Got Rhythm, etc.

(Contributed by Chance Cadman <gershy7(at)hotmail.com>)


His works include: ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, ‘An American in Paris’, the opera ‘Porgy and Bess’, and numerous songs like ‘Embraceable You’, ‘Our Love is Here to Stay’, ‘Strike Up the Band’, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, and ‘I Got Rhythm’.

(Contributed by <ZZA95WNS(at)sheffield.ac.uk>)

Life

Gershwin’s parents moved to New York from Russia before George’s birth. The family name changed gradually from Gershovitz, to Gershwine, to the now familiar Gershwin. He took only a few lessons as a young man in piano and composition. He once tried to convince the famed Arnold Schoenberg to give him lessons in composition. Arnold replied, "I would only make you a bad Shoenberg, and you are such a good Gershwin already!" His success truly began with the compositiion of Swanee. He was comisioned later to write a concerto for Paul Whiteman’s jazz orchestra in 1923. He did not compose a full-scale concerto, but the result was Rhapsody in Blue which took the world by storm! To prove there was more where that came from, he wrote his brilliantly orchestrated Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra in 1925. He continued expanding his concert repetoire with such inspirational works as An American in Paris and Cuban Overture (both inspired by trips he took) while gaining immense popularity with his works in both Broadway musicals and Hollywood film scores. George died in 1937 of a brain tumor. It was said that in his last days alive he would peck at his piano and try to regain the virtuosic glory that had defined not only a generation of music but what American music would be for coming generations.

(Contributed by Chance Cadman <gershy7(at)hotmail.com>)

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Concerts

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Events

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12 February 1924: Premiere of Rhapsody in Blue, in New York, USA, with Gershwin at the piano.
3 December 1925: Premiere of the piano concerto in F major, in New York, USA, with Gershwin at the piano.
13 December 1928: Premiere of An American in Paris, in New York, USA.
16 August 1932: Premiere of Cuban Overture, in New York, USA.
30 September 1935: Premiere of Porgy and Bess, in New York, USA.

Contributions by: gershy | zza |

© 1995–2014 Jos Smeets — Quixote; Last update: 2011-12-01 09:08:35.
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Wed 23 Apr: Trois Miniatures Pour quatuor à cordes, Premiere and workshop by the Arditti Quartet Milton court concert hall, Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London)
Thu 24 Apr: Von Hollywood nach Pankow - Hanns Eisler und die Frauen Arnold Schönberg Center Schwarzenbergplatz 6 1030 Wien
Sun 27 Apr: Godelieve Shrama + Wouter Snoei Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ Piet Heinkade 1 Amsterdam
Sat 3 May: Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents “The Poet’s Song” Church of the Holy Apostles New York
Sun 4 May: Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents “The Poet’s Song” DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W. 37th St., NY, NY
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(1845) Gustav Albert Lortzing: Premiere of Undine, in Magdeburg, Germany.
(1889) Giacomo Puccini: Premiere of Edgar, in Milan, Italy.
(1918) Sergey Prokofiev: Premiere of the Classical Symphony in D major op. 25, in St. Petersburg, Russia, with Prokofiev conducting.
(1945) Olivier Messiaen: Premiere of Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine, in Paris, France.
(1948) Ralph Vaughan Williams: Premiere of Symphony no. 6 in e minor, in London, England.

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