Composer Essay of George Gershwin

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George Gershwin is one of the most sought after musicians in American history. He was a composer of jazz, opera and popular songs for stage and screen, and many of his works are now today’s standards. Even though George had a short life, his works live on today. George was born on September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the second son of Russian immigrants. He discovered his natural talent for music when he was young. George dropped out of school at the age of 15, where he began he career playing in New York nightclubs. After three years of pounding out tunes on the piano for demanding customers, he was transformed into a highly skilled composer. To earn extra cash, he also worked as a rehearsal pianist for Broadway singers. In 1916, he composed his first published song, “When You Want ’Em You Can’t Get ’Em.” This song demonstrated innovative new techniques, but only earned him five dollars. Soon after, however, he met a young lyricist named Irving Ceaser. Together they composed a number of songs including “Swanee,” which sold more than a million copies. In 1924, George formed a partnership with his brother, Ira. "The Gershwins" became the dominant Broadway songwriters, creating infectious rhythm numbers and tearjerking ballads, fashioning the words to fit the melodies with a "glove-like" fidelity. Together they wrote many more successful musicals including “Oh Kay!” and “Funny Face” While continuing to compose popular music for the stage, Gershwin began to lead a double life, trying to make his mark as a serious composer. When he was 25 years old, his jazz-influenced “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered in New York’s Aeolian Hall at the concert, “An Experiment in Music.” The audience included Jascha Heifitz, Fritz Kreisler, Leopold Stokowski, Serge Rachmaninov, and Igor Stravinsky. Serious music critics were often at a loss as to where to place Gershwin’s

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