George Gershwin Essay

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George Gershwin Report George Gershwin was an excellent composer and musician who lead a very interesting life. George Gershwin’s life had a fascinating beginning and an unexpected end. He was a musical prodigy, even at a young age. His compositions were so well done that they are still popular today. George Gershwin’s life was very intriguing. First off, he was born with the name of Jacob Gershowitz, the son of Russian/Jewish immigrants, on September 26th, 1898. He was born in Harlem in New York City. He sat down to the piano for the first time at 11 years old, when his parents bought his brother, Ira, a secondhand piano. Ira grew up not to be a piano player, but to be a famous lyricist and the lyricist to many of George’s most popular songs. At first, George taught himself, but with his talent he naturally sought out mentors that could improve his playing. He eventually started playing under the instruction of the famous piano teacher Charles Hambitzer. Charles was incredibly impressed with his new student; He even wrote a letter to his sister saying “I have a new pupil who will make his mark if anybody will. The boy is a genius.” Gershwin would go on to have many teachers who were equally impressed with his natural talent. At age 15, in 1914, George dropped out of school to play piano full time. George was an incredible piano player. He got jobs playing in several New York nightclubs. Eventually, he became a song-plugger in New York’s Tin Pan Alley. A song-plugger was a piano player employed by music stores in the early 20th century to promote and help sell new sheet music. He did these jobs for three years before working as a rehearsal pianist for Broadway singers. By this time, George had become a prolific piano player, and understood music well enough to start off his composing career. George was an amazing composer. His first song, “When You Want ’Em You Can’t Get ’Em”, was published in 1916. George’s next composition, “Rhapsody in Blue”, would eventually become his most famous. He wrote at an incredible pace, barely making the deadline to compose a piece for his friend Paul Whiteman’s concert