George Gershwin, Composer, Atlantic Classical Orchestra

Born September 26, 1898; Brooklyn, New York
Died July 11, 1937; Los Angeles, California
Piano Concerto in G Major


1929 – 1931; 33 years old

George Gershwin, the brilliant American composer and pianist, left an enduring legacy that transcends the boundaries of popular, jazz, and classical genres. Studying under luminaries like Charles Hambitzer and Rubin Goldmark, Gershwin’s musical journey ignited with Broadway hits co-composed with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. His orchestral masterpieces, including the iconic “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924) and “An American in Paris” (1928), showcased his ability to seamlessly blend classical sophistication with the spontaneity of jazz influences.

Gershwin’s ventures weren’t without challenges; rejected by Nadia Boulanger and Maurice Ravel for classical study due to the fear of diluting his jazz-infused style, he persisted and crafted the American cultural classic, “Porgy and Bess” (1935). Despite facing initial commercial struggles, the opera later emerged as a twentieth-century American masterpiece. Gershwin’s untimely death at 38, succumbing to a brain tumor, left an irreplaceable void, but his compositions, such as “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm,” endure as jazz standards, gracing film scores and television adaptations, ensuring that his musical brilliance continues to captivate audiences across genres.