NEW YORK CITY Articles
Click Here for More Articles on NEW YORK CITY...

Queens College Musicians Celebrate Gershwin's RHAPSODY IN BLUE Tonight

Playing to a sold-out Aeolian Hall on February 12, 1924, violinist-conductor Paul Whiteman led his dance band in a program of popular and jazz repertoire. His "Experiment in Modern Music" culminated in the premiere of a piece commissioned for the occasion: Rhapsody in Blue, featuring its composer, George Gershwin, at the piano.

Now, exactly 90 years later, internationally-known conductor Maurice Peress, professor at the Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music, is teaming up with the Grammy Award-winning Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks to reprise that legendary performance.

The commemorative concert, taking place tonight, February 12, at 8 pm at The Town Hall (123 West 43rd Street, Manhattan), will faithfully replicate the original, which mixed novelties such as "Livery Stable Blues," with its mock horse whinnies and chicken squawks, and standards by Irving Berlin, Victor Herbert, and Jerome Kern. Virtuosos from the 22-piece Nighthawks-augmented for this date by guest artists-will recreate individual solos from vintage recordings. Jazz pianist Jeb Patton will channel keyboard wizard Zez Confrey, composer of "Dizzy Fingers," while Andy Stein, known for his work on "A Prairie Home Companion," will cover Whiteman's role on violin. Ted Rosenthal, a winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition who teaches at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, will be a featured soloist.

"With his Rhapsody in Blue for solo piano and jazz band, Gershwin took a giant step for American music," notes Peress, who immersed himself in musical archives to prepare for this event. "It is indisputably the first American orchestral work shaped from blues and ragtime that crossed over and found a welcome place in the standard orchestral repertoire."


Related Articles



More On: Paul White, George Gershwin, Maurice Peress, College, Aaron Copland, Vince Giordano, Town Hall, Irving Berlin, Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern.

Comment & Share

Related Links
Ken Cole Named VP, Learning and Leadership Development of League of American OrchestrasKen Cole Named VP, Learning and Leadership Development of League of American Orchestras
April 09, 2014
Portland Ovations Welcomes Handel and Haydn Society to Hannaford Hall TodayPortland Ovations Welcomes Handel and Haydn Society to Hannaford Hall Today
April 05, 2014
Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Presents HERE TO STAY: THE GERSHWIN EXPERIENCE TonightChattanooga Symphony & Opera Presents HERE TO STAY: THE GERSHWIN EXPERIENCE Tonight
April 05, 2014
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Celebrates its 50th Anniversary During Its 2014-2015 Concert SeasonThe Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Celebrates its 50th Anniversary During Its 2014-2015 Concert Season
April 03, 2014


About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts

BWW Reviews: Soprano Karita Mattila Shimmers in Strauss's FOUR LAST SONGS at Carnegie HallBWW Reviews: Soprano Karita Mattila Shimmers in Strauss's FOUR LAST SONGS at Carnegie Hall

Subscribe for News & Specials

BWW Reviews: TANYA BANNISTER, THE INTIMATE CONCERTOSBWW Reviews: TANYA BANNISTER, THE INTIMATE CONCERTOS
by Peter Danish