Rhapsody in Blue

Jeffrey Kahane leads jazz-band version from piano

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Jeffrey Kahane, Conductor and Piano

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
4:30 PM
Donor Gates Open
5:00 PM
Public Gates Open
8:00 PM
Concert Starts

Tickets: $90/25
Lawn: $10

Wine Club Reserved: SOLD OUT
Wine Club Lawn: SOLD OUT
Wine Club + Mirabelle Dining (inc. Pavilion ticket): SOLD OUT

5:30 p.m. Ravinia Wine Club sponsored by Terlato Wines.


Gershwin:   Rhapsody in Blue (jazz band version)
Bernstein:   Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Rachmaninoff:   Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

Program Notes

"There are probably only a handful of pieces of music ever composed that are as well known as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Yet in the nearly 100 years since its historic 1924 premiere at Aeolian Hall in New York, it has lost none of its power to delight and electrify listeners. For many years now, I have performed the work only in the original jazz band version performed by Gershwin himself with Paul Whiteman’s orchestra at that historic concert, and I am certain that listeners who have yet to hear this version will be amazed and thrilled by the opportunity to experience the work in its original form." -Jeffrey Kahane

Concert Information

Music simply doesn’t get any more American than in two masterful and equally tuneful expressions of our country’s psyche from the mid-20th century, even though the two composers never met and came from vastly different backgrounds. It took a genius songwriter from Tin Pan Alley, one George Gershwin, to convincingly weave that most American genre, jazz, into the fabric of a modern orchestra with his Rhapsody in Blue, the original version of which popular pianist Jeffrey Kahane will play and conduct from his keyboard. He will also bring to bear the work of Leonard Bernstein, the enormously talented classical conductor and pianist who brought grand-scale, symphonic sense of occasion to the quintessentially American Broadway stage in West Side Story, from which the dance music has taken on a vivacity of its own as a collection of some of the most recognizable tunes even today.