Michigan In Rhapsody Over Gershwin Partnership

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George Gershwin. FILE Photo.

George Gershwin. FILE Photo.

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – It’s Rhapsody in Blue or in this case maize and blue.

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance has teamed up with the estates of George and Ira Gershwin to form the “Gershwin Initiative.”

The new partnership will provide U of M music scholars complete access to all of the Gershwin papers, compositional drafts and original scores to create the first-ever critical edition of their works.

“The U-M Gershwin Initiative exemplifies how the arts thrive within a great research institution,” U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said. “With this project, the University of

Michigan celebrates and protects the brilliant contributions of two of America’s most legendary artists, while elevating arts scholarship and performance opportunities for faculty and students in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.”

The George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition will give conductors, musicians, performers, scholars and audiences greater insight into the Gershwins’ original manuscripts and, in many cases, offer the first performance materials to accurately reflect the creators’ vision.

In addition to “Porgy and Bess,” famous works to be included in the scholarly review include George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” “An American in Paris,” “Concerto in F” and “Cuban Overture,” along with scores that the brothers wrote together for more than two dozen Broadway and Hollywood musicals—resulting in some of the most recognizable and beloved songs in American music history. Among the dozens of immensely popular songs they crafted together were “I Got Rhythm,” “‘S Wonderful,” “Embraceable You,” “Funny Face,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “Love is Here to Stay,” to name just a few.

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