Poster Blue Centennial

'Blue Centennial': Celebrating a Century of Gershwin’s 'Rhapsody'

Blue Centennial: Celebrating a Century of Gershwin’s 'Rhapsody'

For the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Valerie Kahler delves into the fascinating history of this great work and shares an array of performers who interpreted it. They include the original Paul Whiteman-led performance with Gershwin at the piano, Leonard Bernstein performing, Bela Fleck on banjo with a bluegrass band, and a reimagined performance by pianist Lara Downes.

This special airs on YourClassical MPR at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, on the anniversary of the work’s premiere at Aeolian Hall in New York City in 1924. Or listen now using the player above.

  • George Gershwin and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra

  • Gershwin and the Columbia Jazz Band, with Michael Tilson Thomas

  • Leonard Bernstein and the Columbia Symphony

  • Bela Fleck and the Virginia Symphony

  • Fleck and a bluegrass band (Rhapsody in Bluegrass)

  • Fleck and a blues band (Rhapsody in Blues)

  • Lara Downes and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra (Edmar Colon’s Rhapsody in Blue Reimagined, as featured on New Classical Tracks)

  • Sara Davis Buechner (solo piano)

  • Stewart Goodyear and Chineke

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