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George Gershwin

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NEWS
December 23, 2013 | By Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
January 10, 2016
At 1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1), the Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast is George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue - the original jazz band version, Ferde Grofe's faithful orchestration of Paul Whiteman's arrangement - with guest conductor Marin Alsop and pianist Jon Kimura Parker.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 30, 1996 | By Elizabeth Ahlfors, FOR THE INQUIRER
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.
NEWS
July 10, 1987 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
September 16, 2003 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
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...
NEWS
September 25, 1998 | by Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 20, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
After a long season of events that go to the depths of pretty much everything, from Cold Mountain to Mahler's Symphony No. 8 , Philadelphia classical concertgoers had sounds for sore ears from Dolce Suono Ensemble, which on Tuesday ended its season with Música en tus Manos (Music in Your Hands)/The Americas Project, a buoyant celebration of the Americas, most notably music of Brazil and Peru. It was the closest thing to summer amid what has been a chilly, rainy week. Founder/director Mimi Stillman said her ensemble had never gone this far into popular music, with transcriptions of songs by George Gershwin as well as lesser-known South American songwriters such as Carlos Guastavino and David Haro.
NEWS
December 13, 1987 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
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)
NEWS
September 25, 1998 | by Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 26, 1996 | By Leonard W. Boasberg, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Daniel Webster also contributed
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.
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NEWS
May 20, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
After a long season of events that go to the depths of pretty much everything, from Cold Mountain to Mahler's Symphony No. 8 , Philadelphia classical concertgoers had sounds for sore ears from Dolce Suono Ensemble, which on Tuesday ended its season with Música en tus Manos (Music in Your Hands)/The Americas Project, a buoyant celebration of the Americas, most notably music of Brazil and Peru. It was the closest thing to summer amid what has been a chilly, rainy week. Founder/director Mimi Stillman said her ensemble had never gone this far into popular music, with transcriptions of songs by George Gershwin as well as lesser-known South American songwriters such as Carlos Guastavino and David Haro.
NEWS
January 10, 2016
At 1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1), the Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast is George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue - the original jazz band version, Ferde Grofe's faithful orchestration of Paul Whiteman's arrangement - with guest conductor Marin Alsop and pianist Jon Kimura Parker.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
George Gershwin's last visit to Philadelphia, just as his magnum opus Porgy and Bess was leaving Broadway with an air of failure, found the usually ebullient composer talking about happiness as if were a mirage. "If most composers were left to themselves, they would write only sad ballads. Writing happy music is the hardest. I have to imagine what a happy frame of mind is like and then try to compose," he told a reporter at the Ritz Carlton, while going through two books of matches relighting his ever-present pipe.
NEWS
February 14, 2014
IT IS arguably the most important work of American musical theater of the 20th century. But "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," whose national tour brings it to the Academy of Music for a six-day run beginning Tuesday, could have turned out far differently. As absurd as it sounds today, there was a time when the musical stage adaptation of the book (and subsequent dramatic play), "Porgy," by DuBose Heyward - about the denizens of a Charleston, S.C., ghetto called "Catfish Row" - could have wound up as a musical comedy starring Al Jolson playing the crippled beggar, Porgy, in blackface, rather than as the dramatic jazz-opera that has provoked and enthralled audiences for almost 80 years.
NEWS
December 23, 2013 | By Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
December 17, 2012 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Harry Gartzman had a stroke in June at his grandson's wedding. The ceremony had ended, and he walked out with a big smile. Suddenly, he couldn't move on his right side, or talk. "If you were to stand on his right and speak to him," said his granddaughter, Mia Sclafani, an emergency-room doctor, "he wouldn't even know you were there. " A stroke of this magnitude at age 92, she said, "is usually incompatible with life. " Harry's family was worried, of course. So were friends at the Philadelphian, a condominium near the Art Museum where he'd lived for 15 years.
NEWS
July 27, 2009 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
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.
NEWS
July 21, 2009 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
So often, George Gershwin is performed by the young: His music defined the 20th century when it was youthful, and his own death at age 38 left him perpetually young in the public's mind. Yet the Philadelphia Orchestra's resident Gershwin specialist at the Mann Center on Friday is a pianist who hated being called a "young artist" when in her 30s and is better known for complicated piano sonatas by Prokofiev and volatile chamber-music concerts with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2004 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Even the ebullience of veteran song stylist Nancy Wilson couldn't mask the reality that George Gershwin wasn't having a stellar night at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday. Though she and the Philadelphia Orchestra were on the same stage, the quirky sound system suggested the orchestra was on a different planet - and a gaseous one, at that. Everybody seemed to be orbiting the rhythm section (as opposed to synchronizing with it), and only Wilson, with her jazz credentials, had an artistic claim for doing so. Mostly, what passed for a performance was disaster-circumventing professionalism.
NEWS
September 16, 2003 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
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...
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