George Jacob Gershwin was born in Brooklyn, New York (USA) on September 26, 1898. He studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell and Joseph Brody. He began his career as a song plugger, but soon started composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, who refused him, where he began to compose An American in Paris. After returning to New York City, he wrote ‘Porgy and Bess’ with Ira and the author DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, ‘Porgy and Bess’ is now considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ (1924) and ‘An American in Paris’ (1928).
Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death on 11 July 1937 from a malignant brain tumor.
Gershwin’s compositions have been adapted for use in many films and for television, and several became jazz standards recorded in many variations. Many celebrated singers and musicians have performed his songs. The tribute album The Glory Of Gershwin was recorded as a celebration of his career. Kate Bush contributed a version of his song The Man I Love for that album.