Concerto in F

Premiered at Carnegie Hall, New York, on December 3, 1925.  New York Symphony, Walter Damrosch (conductor), George Gershwin (piano).

In the wake of the success of the RHAPSODY IN BLUE, conductor Walter Damrosch and the New York Symphony Society commissioned a piano concerto from George, who was determined to do his own orchestration this time.  Work on the concerto spanned five months in 1925, some of it coinciding with his collaboration with Ira on TIP-TOES and with Herbert Stothart, Otto Harbach, and Oscar Hammerstein II on SONG OF THE FLAME.  The debut of the CONCERTO IN F at Carnegie Hall may have been a disappointment to those expecting another “event” like the RHAPSODY IN BLUE, but time has shown that George’s studies of the classical form were well spent.  The CONCERTO IN F is a well-developed work that strengthened Gershwin’s reputation as a composer who straddled the boundaries of popular and “serious” music.