American composer George Gershwin can justifiably be called one of the fathers of today´s so popular ?crossover? movement. This son of Russian-Jewish immigrants earned his first laurels with activities as a song plugger and then soon landed a couple of his own tunes on the hit parade. Beside his popular music, he became intensively involved with the classical piano repertoire and created a style of his own in his works including elements of popular music and jazz interwoven with the characteristics of the classical tradition. Gershwin scored his greatest successes on Broadway with musicals like ?Lady Be Good? and ?Strike Up the Band?, which brought this authentic American theatrical form to international renown. But his works for the concert stage have also enjoyed enormous tremendous success right to the present day, first and foremost his ?Rhapsody in Blue? with which Gershwin draws a picture of America, the great melting pot, with its versatile musical styles. Independent of all musical styles and borderlines between so-called ?serious? and ?popular? music, Gershwin phrased his own musical credo in these words: ?Only one thing in music is significant; ideas plus feeling?, and the lasting popularity of his works serves as proof of the pudding ? he had both!
Born on Deptember 26, 1898 in New York
Died on July 11, 1937 in Los Angeles