George Gershwin Larry Starr

Yale Broadway Masters Series
Publication date:
22 Feb 2013
Yale University Press
216 pages: 235 x 156mm
19 b-w illus. + 24 music examples
Sales territories:

In this welcome addition to the immensely popular Yale Broadway Masters series, Larry Starr focuses fresh attention on George Gershwin’s Broadway contributions and examines their centrality to the composer’s entire career. Starr presents Gershwin as a composer with a unified musical vision—a vision developed on Broadway and used as a source of strength in his well-known concert music. In turn, Gershwin’s concert-hall experience enriched and strengthened his musicals, leading eventually to his great “Broadway opera,” Porgy and Bess. Through the prism of three major shows—Lady Be Good (1924), Of Thee I Sing (1931), and Porgy and Bess (1935)—Starr highlights Gershwin’s distinctive contributions to the evolution of the Broadway musical. In addition, the author considers Gershwin’s musical language, his compositions for the concert hall, and his movie scores for Hollywood in the light of his Broadway experience.

Larry Starr is a Professor of music history, University of Washington. He lives in Seattle.

“….a sad story but a very illuminating one, and the book is an enthralling read.”—Peter Dickinson, Gramophone

“Larry Starr's valuable new book…is not a traditional biography…but rather an insightful, technically intricate yet easy-to-follow study of Gershwin's music, particularly as it came out of the Broadway tradition.”—Tim Page, The Washington Post

“If George Gershwin provided much that the world's listeners have savored as America's musical daily bread, Larry Starr's spirited book goes a long way toward showing how he did it.” —Richard Crawford, author of America's Musical Life: A History