Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue Explained...and Performed!
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George Gershwin, on his American Masterpiece: Rhapsody in Blue

I’d like to write of the melting pot, of New York City itself, with its blend of
native and immigrant strains. This would allow for many kinds of music,
black and white, Eastern and Western, and would call for a style that should
achieve out of this diversity, an artistic unity. New York is a meeting place,
a rendezvous of the nations. I’d like to catch the rhythms of these interfusing
peoples, to show them clashing and blending

GEORGE GERSHWIN, late 1920’s

George Gershwin (1898-1937) was a true rarity in American music—someone at home both in popular and classical, or concert, music. It was Gershwin’s special contribution to create concert works out of melodies and rhythms that come out of the popular music of his day— Broadway ballads, ragtime, Latin dance rhythms, and the Blues. This presentation will demonstrate just how this process works in his first and perhaps most popular concert work, Rhapsody in Blue. By understanding the musical sources of this most beloved of American concert pieces, we gain insight into the multicultural nature of American musical traditions, and into the compositional genius of one of our greatest composers.

The presentation will conclude with a performance of Gershwin’s great masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue.

About Orin Grossman:

Orin Grossman has been delighting audiences the world over with his unique approach to performing and explaining great American and European music. As a performer he is in demand as an interpreter of the music of George Gershwin,
playing his songs and classical compositions around the world, including Italy, Egypt, Australia, and Russia, where he performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and gave the Russian premiere of Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody with the St.
Petersburg Philharmonic to a standing ovation.

Dr. Grossman graduated Harvard College with a Magna cum Laude in Music. He continued his studies at Yale University, earning a Ph.D. in Music. At Fairfield University, Dr. Grossman has been Professor, Dean, and Academic Vice
President. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Visual and Performing Arts. After his New York Carnegie Hall debut recital, he performed a series of innovative recitals combining jazz, popular, and classical music. A superb lecturer,
he has developed presentations combining performance and discussion. He has given talks in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and other locales across the United States. He was chosen to lecture at Tanglewood as part of the 2014 Boston Symphony Summer Season and was a featured presenter at Mexico City’s Day of Knowledge in 2018.

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