George Gershwin

George Gershwin, born Jacob Gershwine on September 26, 1898, was an influential American composer and pianist whose musical creations transcended popular, jazz, and classical genres. His repertoire includes iconic works such as the orchestral compositions “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924) and “An American in Paris” (1928), as well as timeless songs like “Swanee” (1919) and “Fascinating Rhythm” (1924). Notable among his jazz standards are “Embraceable You” (1928) and “I Got Rhythm” (1930). Gershwin also ventured into opera with “Porgy and Bess” (1935), featuring the beloved hit “Summertime.”

Gershwin honed his craft by studying piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell, and Joseph Brody. Early in his career, he collaborated with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva, contributing to Broadway theater works. Despite facing initial rejection from Nadia Boulanger in Paris, who feared classical studies might compromise his jazz-influenced style, Gershwin went on to create the masterpiece “An American in Paris.” Returning to New York City, he collaborated with Ira and DuBose Heyward to compose “Porgy and Bess,” initially met with commercial challenges but later recognized as a significant American opera.

Later in his career, Gershwin relocated to Hollywood and crafted numerous film scores. Tragically, he passed away at the young age of 38 in 1937 due to a brain tumor.

George Gershwin’s compositions have left an indelible mark, finding adaptation in film and television and becoming enduring jazz standards that continue to captivate audiences. His legacy endures as a pioneering figure in American music, seamlessly blending genres and leaving an enduring impact on the cultural landscape.

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