Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Aldo López Gavilán, piano

Still: Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American”
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Dvorak: Symphony No. 7

George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is remarkable for many reasons. He wrote it in just three weeks, it made him a star at age 25, and it brought jazz stylings to a “serious” classical piece. Gershwin was at the piano for its premier in 1924, and the work has been a staple of American music ever since. At the piano this time will be Cuban jazz pianist Aldo López-Gavilán, who gave a dazzling performance of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini with TFO last season.

William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1 “Afro-American,” is the first full symphony written by a composer of African-American descent (1930). Much like Gershwin did with jazz, Still elevated blues influences into the piece, along with jazz elements. It’s Still’s most popular and most performed work.  

As for Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7, it was not his most popular work – Symphony No. 9, From the New World often gets that distinction — but critics call it his most thrilling. It was a success from the beginning.

Free tickets for kids and teens in advance. Click here for more information.


Friday, January 4, 2019 at 8:00pm – Tampa, Straz Center (STRAZ)

Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 8:00pm – St Petersburg, Mahaffey Theater (MAH)

Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 7:30pm – Clearwater, Ruth Eckerd Hall (REH)