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George GershwinHis Life and Work$
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Howard Pollack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248649

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001

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Toward a Career in the Theater

Toward a Career in the Theater

(p.81) Chapter Five Toward a Career in the Theater
George Gershwin

Howard Pollack

University of California Press

On March 17, 1917, Gershwin quit Jerome Remick and turned his attention more decidedly toward operetta and musical comedy. His affinity for operetta—perhaps nurtured by his teacher Charles Hambitzer, whose operettas he admired—dated back to his boyhood fondness for Yiddish musical theater and Gilbert and Sullivan. However, the popular theater music which most impressed Gershwin was that of Jerome Kern, who was not only an outstanding composer but the prime force in the development of American musical comedy. In February 1918, Max Dreyfus offered Gershwin a salaried position as a staff composer. Gershwin essentially remained with the company T.B. Harms and then Chappell for the rest of his life. In 1927, Harms began publishing Gershwin's music under a subsidiary, the New World Music Company.

Keywords:   musical comedy, operetta, Yiddish musical theater, Charles Hambitzer, Jerome Kern, Max Dreyfus, T.B. Harms

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