About George Gershwin
George Gershwin was one of the most important and well-known Broadway musical music composers.
The American pianist composed music for Broadway and classical works, allowing him to reach a larger audience. Gershwin wrote film and television scores that were heavily influenced by jazz standards.
Gershwin will forever be associated with the sounds and style of the Jazz Age. He was a Brooklyn guy with a fascinating personality who threw himself into every task with equal zeal. Gershwin was known for his mastery of melody and harmony, and he was a great composer who left an indelible mark on classical music. Even though Gershwin died young, his orchestral and classical compositions and performances earned him the fame he craved throughout his life.
Gershwin's melodic majesty was undeniable. Even though he died young, his music and classical compositions demonstrate his enduring grandeur. Some of Gershwin's popular songs, compositions, and musicals are: 'Rhapsody In Blue,' 'Piano Concerto in F,' 'An American In Paris,' 'Blue Monday Blues,' 'Porgy and Bess Summertime,' 'La La Lucille,' 'Oh Kay!,' 'Strike Up The Band.'
George Gershwin Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits
What was George Gershwin's net worth?
George Gershwin had a net worth of $97 million as a composer. He earned it by writing and composing songs.
Height, Age & Physical Attributes
How tall was George Gershwin?
George Gershwin was 5 ft 10 in (177.8 cm) tall.
How old was George Gershwin?
George Gershwin was only 39 years old when he died. He was born on September 26, 1898. He died on July 11, 1937.
Childhood And Education
George Gershwin was born Jacob Gershwine in Brooklyn, New York. He was born into a Jewish household in Russia. When his father, Morris (Moishe) Gershowitz, immigrated to the United States from Russia, he changed his surname to Gershwin.
After becoming a professional musician, he altered the spelling of his surname to Gershwin. George had a typical tenement upbringing. This included running about with his buddies, roller-skating, and misbehaving in the streets. George's first love was athletics, not music. At the age of eight, he found his interest in music at a violin performance given by a friend in a Manhattan school theater.
George's parents hired tutors for him after he performed a song from memory that he had learned from a neighbor's piano player. He experimented with numerous piano tutors for two years before being introduced to Charles Hambitzer. He was the pianist in Beethoven's orchestra.
George's abilities pleased Charles Hambitzer so much that he offered to tutor him for free. George continued his musical education with composers such as Henry Cowell and Wallingford Riegger and Edward Kilenyi, a traditionalist, and Joseph Schillinger.
By the age of 15, Gershwin had dropped out of school. Gershwin earned a living by making piano rolls. He also performed at nightclubs in New York. When George Gershwin had just dropped out of school, one of his most significant occupations was as a song plugger.
Family, Romance, And Relationships
Who was George Gershwin's family?
George Gershwin was born to Morris Gershowit and Roza Bruskina. He had three brothers and sisters; Ira Gershwin, Arthur Gershwin, and Frances Gershwin.
Ira, George's elder brother, was given a secondhand piano. However, George took an interest in it and began playing it.
Who was George Gershwin dating?
Kay Swift was George Gershwin's long-term girlfriend. Kay was married to someone else when they met in 1925. Kay had a relationship with George for about ten years after her marriage broke up in 1934.
Swift was a regular advisor to Gershwin on his musicals and other projects. Kay and Gershwin never married, despite their lengthy romance. This was because George's mother, Rose, was concerned because Kay was not Jewish. Ira worked with Kay after Gershwin's death to finish George's unreleased works.
Career And Professional Highlights
Best Known For…
In 1916, Gershwin wrote his first published song, 'When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em.' The song was coupled with his first solo piano work, 'Rialto Ripples.' He attracted Broadway composers. In his play 'The Passing Show of 1916,' composer Sigmund Romberg used one of Gershwin's tunes.
Gershwin also recorded and arranged for the Aeolian Company and Standard Music Rolls in New York in 1916. He made a lot of pieces, both under his own name and under pseudonyms. He also recorded rolls of his own works for the Duo-Art and Welte-Mignon reproducing pianos.
Gershwin's awareness of jazz and popular music grew significantly due to these early interactions. George was inspired to write for Broadway by Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern's tunes. In 1919, his song 'Swanee,' sung by Al Jolson in the musical smash,' Sinbad,' became a commercial triumph. It sold over 2 million albums and one million sheets of music. Gershwin became an instant superstar as a result of this. In the same year, Gershwin created the full music for his debut show, 'La La Lucille.' Gershwin was working on his most serious composition when he created the string quartet piece, ‘Lullaby.’
Gershwin composed 45 songs during the following four years. This included 'Somebody Loves Me' and 'Stairway to Paradise,' and the 25-minute opera ‘Blue Monday.’
In 1924, Gershwin collaborated on the musical comedy 'Lady Be Good' with his older brother, songwriter Ira. They collaborated on several other hit musicals, including 'Oh Kay!' and ‘Funny Face.’
Gershwin created his jazz-influenced 'Rhapsody In Blue' in 1924. It was completed in just three hours and is regarded as one of George's most well-known compositions. Gershwin was inspired by the popularity of 'Rhapsody In Blue' to compose additional piano and orchestral works.
George Gershwin went to Paris for a brief time to study with Nadia Boulanger, a well-known educator. However, he was turned down for help because the woman thought that studying classical music would change George's jazz-influenced style.
In 1928, he composed 'Concerto In F' and 'An American In Paris' in Paris. This work was first performed at Carnegie Hall in the late '20s, and the music was utilized as a ballet sequence in the film ‘Show Girl.’
Gershwin came up with other big orchestral contributions in the early '30s. His 1931 composition, 'Second Rhapsody,' was included in the film' Delicious.' It was one of the most experimental pieces, and it was well-received.
In 1935, George composed the folk opera 'Porgy And Bess,' one of his finest works. It was based in South Carolina and focused on the impoverished ghettos and the people who lived there. Gershwin adapted the book 'Porgy' by Du Bose Heyward into opera, including jazz and blues rhythms and idioms.
The music of 'Porgy And Bess' featured a mix of popular music from the time period and elements from African-American music and opera methods.
What awards had George Gershwin won?
In 1937, Gershwin wrote 'They Can't Take That Away from Me' with his brother Ira for the film Shall We Dance. It earned Gershwin his only Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song at the 1937 Oscars. Gershwin died two months after the film's debut, so the nomination was posthumous.
In 1985, George and Ira received the Congressional Gold Medal. Only three other songwriters have won this honor.
In 1998, Gershwin was given a special Pulitzer Prize in honor of his centennial birth year. This was for his exceptional and lasting contributions to American music.
UCLA created the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Musical Achievement Award. The award aims to recognize the brothers' contributions to music and their gift of the UCLA fight song, ‘Strike Up the Band for UCLA.’
Gershwin was honored by the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
George Gershwin's Hobbies And Interests
Gershwin started painting as a pastime and became pretty adept at it. As time went on, he got more serious about it. Arnold Schoenberg, his longtime buddy, was the subject of his final oil painting.
Other Interesting George Gershwin Facts And Trivia
Gershwin's symphonic pieces became a regular repertory for concerts and recitals. His popular songs brought him great fame and money.
George Gershwin died of a brain tumor in Hollywood. He worked on the score for 'The Goldwyn Follies' when he died at just 39 years old.
Although George did not invent jazz, he is often credited for introducing ‘jazz to the music hall.’
He wrote almost 500 songs and piano preludes and concertos, operas, and Broadway musicals over his career. So that listeners didn't get tired of seeing Gershwin's name on the front of every score, some of his compositions had to be released under pseudonyms like Fred Murtha and Burt Wyn.
Alban Berg, Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, and Arnold Schoenberg influenced Gershwin. He also requested composition lessons from Schoenberg.
In the 1945 biographical picture Rhapsody in Blue, Robert Alda played George Gershwin.
After three years of banging out compositions on the piano for demanding clients, George had developed into a highly proficient and deft composer. He also worked as a rehearsal pianist for Broadway vocalists to supplement his income.
José Ferrer, a Puerto Rican, and actress Rosemary Clooney eventually bought Gershwin's Hollywood home. However, the City of Beverly Hills granted permission to destroy the house and the whole site in the summer of 2005.
George Gershwin is buried in the Westchester Hills Cemetery-Stephen Wise Free Synagogue Cemetery, New York, United States.
Gershwin has collaborated with lyricist Buddy DeSylva since the early '20s. They collaborated on the Harlem-set experimental one-act jazz opera ‘Blue Monday.’
Gershwin left a multimillion-dollar fortune behind him when he died.
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