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George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue
Aaron Copland, Symphony No. 3
American George Gershwin (1898-1937) takes his place in the history of music as one of the first composers to combine classical music with jazz. He created symphonic jazz, lay the foundations for American opera, and with his contributions to film music enriched the jazz repertoire with countless hits. His most frequently performed compositions are the orchestral works An American in Paris and the Cuban Overture, the opera Porgy and Bess, and above all, Rhapsody in Blue for piano and orchestra. The latter was premiered in 1924 at a concert entitled An Experiment in Modern Music, where it was received with enthusiastic applause. It has been considered one of the most iconic works of American classical music ever since.
Aaron Copland (1900-1990) was a composer and conductor whose creative work is considered by many to be the most distinctively “American”. In his stylistically eclectic, accessible and picturesque works, he captured the spirit of his homeland, the beauty of America and the optimism, pride and curiosity of its inhabitants. In addition to powerful orchestral scores such as Appalachian Spring and Fanfare for the Common Man, which make up the bulk of his oeuvre, Copland also created a handful of works for voice and piano. The last of his symphonies, the Third Symphony, was composed in 1946 and displays a lyrical nature and lavish orchestration.
Lio Kuokman (1982), artistic director of the Macau Music Festival and resident conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, will perform as both conductor and piano soloist. Kuokman studied at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, the Juilliard School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory.