The Opening Night Gala on September 27, features keyboard legend Herbie Hancock who joins Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a high-spirited celebration of quintessential American composer George Gershwin. LA Phil was Gershwin’s hometown orchestra when he died in 1937, and its history with the composer is equaled only by the New York Philharmonic.
The all-Gershwin concert featured some of the composer’s best-loved orchestral pieces: Cuban Overture, American in Paris, followed by Herbie Hancock’s improvisation of Embraceable You and Someone to Watch Over Me. The concert closed with Rhapsody in Blue, which brought the audience to their feet for a rousing standing ovation. Final bows were accompanied by a confetti drop of blue and silver mylar.
Gershwin is the Jazz Age personified. He got his start writing songs for "Tin Pan Alley," the designation for New York’s publishers of popular songs. With works like Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin brought jazz into the concert hall. Combining his knack for popular songs, his mastery of jazz, and his skill with large-scale composition in a lasting monument to one of the greatest voices in American music.
An American in Paris
Rhapsody in Blue
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Herbie Hancock, piano
Primetime EMMY Award 2012
Category: Outstanding Special Class Programs