Delishious — The Latest Gershwin
February 29, 2020
News from the world of George and Ira Gershwin for the first two months of 2020:
Singer and songwriter Garth Brooks (pictured) will receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at a ceremony and all-star concert in his honor on March 4 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. Brooks, the youngest recipient of the Gershwin Prize, is among the best-selling musical artists of all time, and has two Grammys and 22 Academy of Country Music awards to his credit during his more than 30-year career.
Among the performers scheduled to celebrate Brooks’ music at the gala concert will be Brooks’ wife, Trisha Yearwood, along with Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Keb’ Mo’, and the evening’s host, comedian Jay Leno. The concert will be broadcast by PBS on March 29; the network will also make the concert available via its website and video app.
Hollywood media outlets are reporting that Academy Award nominee Dee Rees (Mudbound) will adapt and direct a new big screen version of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess for MGM and producers Irwin Winkler (Rocky) and his son Charles. Rees’ most recent film, an adaptation of Joan Didion’s novel The Last Thing He Wanted, starring Ben Affleck and Anne Hathaway, was just released.
The critical and commercial success of the Metropolitan Opera’s just-concluded production of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess cannot be denied. With audiences clamoring for seats, the Met added three additional performances during February and reached a wider audience with movie theater simulcasts of the production across the United States in the same month. For anyone who missed either of these opportunities, PBS’ Great Performances at the Met series will broadcast a filmed performance of the opera on July 17. Check your local listings.
The Cambridge Companion to Gershwin was recently published as the latest edition in Cambridge University Press’ long-running series of scholarly books on composers, instruments, and musical topics. Edited by Georgetown University professor Anna Harwell Celenza, the Gershwin volume includes essays discussing the composer’s place in musical and American history, his influence on concert and popular music, and the reception he received during his lifetime and since his death more than 80 years ago.
— Michael Owen