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             Looking back through the history of music we can see composers of all periods of time who truly made a difference. Classical and Romantic composers such as Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Stravinsky, and Mozart are some of the first that come to mind. As music traveled from Europe to the Americas, it was not until the early 1900's that Northern America would raise up it's first American composer to break through the music scene in a whole new fashion. George Girshwin was the man to take music to a whole new level that would even be apart of what fueled such a radical American movement known in history as the Roaring 20's. He took popular "devils music," which at the time was jazz and blues coming from the African culture, and mixed it with the traditional classical concert sound that originated in Europe and had been played for hundreds of years. He could be equated as an American equivalent of Verdi. .
             His name, George Gershwin, conjures memories and nostalgic imaginings of the Jazz Age, the Roaring Twenties, flappers, musicals tumbling forth in glorious profusion from his creative, fertile imagination. Gershwin represented all this, of course, and so much more: his serious compositions, which confounded the critics at first performances, remain highly popular in the concert repertoire, and his stage and film songs continue to be jazz and vocal standards. He was a bundle of energy; a school dropout at fifteen whose wrote the enormously successful Swanee at nineteen. A social genius who rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous of two continents. a natural athlete, a painter of considerable talent, a generous, gregarious man with an ego the size of a ballroom who helped promote the careers of other musicians such as Vernon Duke, and Oscar Levant, George was your modern "rock star." He never experienced a dry spell or the composer's equivalent of writer's block, and he was equally adept at composing music to which words were added or fitting music to book and lyrics already written, as he did in Porgy and Bess.

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