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George Gershwin

George Gershwin

Biography

One of the true giants of American music, George Gershwin combined exceptional songcraft with a keen interest in both the new jazz and European experimental scenes, and in the process forever changed the way songs are written and performed. Gershwin brought sophisticated song structures to the dozens of great standards he wrote with his brother Ira -- "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "I Got Rhythm," and "Someone To Watch Over Me" are among his many classics. His depression-era political satire, "Of Thee I Sing," won the first Pulitzer Prize for a musical entry. He dazzled audiences with his longer pieces, "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris," as well as with his tenacious piano playing. He wrote what may be the only great American opera, "Porgy and Bess." The fact that he did all this in a mad rush is all the more impressive, as the young composer died of a brain tumor in 1937.

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