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The Concerto in F, originally called the New York Concerto, was commissioned by Walter Damrosch, conductor of the New York Symphony Society, in 1925. The score incorporates jazz, blues, even the Charleston, into the classical three-movement concerto form. Gershwin, who joked that he would have to learn how to write a concerto, played the piece at its premiere.
George Gershwin (1898-1937) was an American composer and pianist whose first success was the song Swanee in 1919. After Rhapsody in Blue was commissioned in 1924 by Paul Whiteman, Gershwin was taken seriously as a composer. In the 20's and 30's he wrote a series of successful musicals and film scores as well as An American in Paris (1928) and the folk opera Porgy and Bess (1934-1935). From 1924 he wrote nearly all of his vocal music to lyrics by his brother Ira. In addition to the Piano Concerto, Gershwin also wrote a set of Preludes for solo piano in the classical idiom.
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