December 23, 2013 |
Hyperactive and behaviorally challenged, George Gershwin probably had some form of attention deficit disorder. He grew up in a music-starved environment. His family moved 28 times before he turned 17. And somehow Gershwin fell in love with music and was able to convert the sounds of a train he took from New York to Boston into one of the most beloved symphonies of all time, Rhapsody in Blue. These are some of the points made by Richard Kogan, 58, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and artistic director of the Weill Cornell Music and Medicine Program.
December 30, 1996 |
One of America's legendary lyricists was toasted on Saturday evening with "Fascinating Rhythms: An Ira Gershwin Celebration," and for almost an hour and a half, singers Martin Vidnovic, Kimberly JaJuan and Nancy Opel, with Jimmy Roberts on piano, illustrated why his songs are here to stay. Ira Gershwin, born 100 years ago this month, is renowned for crafting lyrics that fit the melodies, set a mood and are singable, while always sounding perfectly natural. The American Music Theater Festival cabaret concert will continue through tomorrow in the Grand Ballroom at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue.
July 10, 1987 |
George Gershwin envied European composers who were his contemporaries, and they, in turn, envied George Gershwin. Ravel and Vaughan Williams represented old world mastery of a language Gershwin felt he spoke with a New York accent. Ravel, in particular, felt Gershwin spoke instinctively and dazzlingly in a language no European could hope to master. Neither needed to envy the other; both cheerfully adopted the other's means. All that was in the air last night as Leonard Slatkin conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in a Gershwin program at the Mann Music Center.
September 16, 2003 |
When George Gershwin finished a concert, Hershey Felder says after acknowledging the applause for his just completed performance of George Gershwin Alone, he would run to the back of the theater, lock the doors, and keep the audience singing along with him at the piano until 1 a.m. If Gershwin's music came across as well as it does in Felder's solo show about him at the Prince Music Theater, you wonder why he bothered locking them in. I'm sure...
September 25, 1998 |
Was George Gershwin this nation's greatest composer? For certain, he was its most creative, democratic and, in his brief 38 years on earth, prolific - fusing pop, classical, jazz and idiomatic forms into a distinctly modern, "All-American" blend. Second of four children born to Russian immigrants Morris and Rose Gershovitz exactly 100 years ago today, George Gershwin, as a teen, apprenticed as a song plugger and show pianist. He signed his first publishing deal when he was 15 and had his first multimillion-seller when he was 20 - penning "Swanee" for Al Jolson.
December 13, 1987 |
Whether musical biography creates musical interests or arises from them is a question that hangs in the air unanswered. Leader or follower, biography this year has renewed regard for 20th-century classical musicians who absorbed the message of jazz on their way to international prominence. Of course, there have appeared a number of sturdy works that help fill in corners of the historical scene or bring up to date researches into figures as distant - and seminal - as Kerala Snyder's Dietrich Buxtehude: Organist in Lubeck (Schirmer, $34.95)
September 25, 1998 |
I got rhythm I got music I got Ira Who could ask for anything more? Those simple, slightly amended phrases are a signature of George Gershwin's remarkable life. Between his birth - 100 years ago tomorrow - and his death from a brain tumor at 38, he left an astounding musical legacy. Reams have been written about how he would have transformed American music even further if he had lived as long (until 86) as his lyricist brother Ira, but we must be content with a mere six "classical" pieces, the grand opera "Porgy and Bess," and hundreds of beloved songs, mostly from shows and films.
November 26, 1996 |
You've heard George Gershwin's songs, written in the 1920s and '30s, a thousand times. They're called standards. There's nothing standard about the way Peter Nero and the Philly Pops played them in an all-Gershwin concert that opened Sunday afternoon at the Academy of Music. In Neroesque style, they sound fresh - not, I must say, as if they were written yesterday, because no one writes music now with the originality and technique of George Gershwin - but certainly in ways you've never heard before.
December 2, 1992 |
George Gershwin once wondered aloud if his music would still be played in a hundred years. "Yes," another composer replied, "it certainly will be. If you are still around. " Well, it's now 54 years - not a century, but the better part of one - since the Brooklyn-born Gershwin's untimely death from a brain tumor in 1938, at age 38. And people are still playing his music, and never better than Peter Nero and the Philly Pops in an all-Gershwin program at the Academy of Music, to be repeated at 8 tonight and 3 p.m. Sunday.
July 27, 2009 |
That catchiest of George Gershwin melodic hooks, "I Got Rhythm," made recurring appearances in the Philadelphia Orchestra's all-Gershwin concert Friday at the Mann Center - with an unfortunate reminder that for all of the wonderful things the orchestra does well, syncopation is not among them. That doesn't mean the orchestra should stay away from Gershwin, whether the Variations on "I Got Rhythm" or the Girl Crazy overture, which quotes the song. The concert had good things - assured by the presence of guest pianist Anne-Marie McDermott - making it time well-enough spent.