British Pianist to Present Lecture-Recitals, Concert at Southeast

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 27, 2010 — Internationally-acclaimed British concert pianist and Gershwin expert Jack Gibbons will present two lecture demonstrations Oct. 6 and 8 on the life, times and music of the great American composer, George Gershwin.  These lecture demonstrations are free and open to the public.

The first lecture demonstration, “Gershwin on Broadway” will focus on a broad overview of Gershwin’s life and contributions to jazz and to musical theatre in the 1920s and 1930s.  This general overview is geared towards anyone with an interest in musical theatre, dance and jazz, as well as the cultural milieu of America in the early part of the 20th century.  This general overview of Gershwin’s life will be presented in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 12:30 p.m.

Gibbons will present a second lecture demonstration, “Gershwin: Amazing Jazz Pianist,” on Friday, Oct. 8, with a specific focus on Gershwin’s music and piano techniques.  Gibbons will discuss and demonstrate Gershwin’s music, and describe the process of studying and transcribing Gershwin’s piano performances.  This second lecture will also take place in the Shuck Music Recital Hall and will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Gibbons will then return to the concert hall at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, when he joins the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra for their opening concert of the 2010ᾰ2011 concert season, performing Gershwin’s iconic “Rhapsody in Blue,” as well as the first movement of Gershwin’s “Concerto in F Major,” with the symphony orchestra.  Tickets for this evening performance in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall are now on sale, and can be obtained by calling the River Campus Box Office at (573) 651-2265 or by visiting MetroTix.com.

George Gershwin (1898ᾰ1937) is one of the most significant and innovative American composers of the 20th century.  His music is a rich amalgamation of jazz and Classical music, and he composed very successfully for Broadway and for the concert hall.  His music is widely performed by musical theatres, symphony orchestras, and a number of his songs have become jazz standards. 

Gibbons is an internationally-acclaimed pianist whose Gershwin concerts have brought standing ovations on both sides of the Atlantic.   Beginning in 1990, as noted in his official website, Gibbons “gave the first of what have become annual all-Gershwin programs to a packed hall and standing ovation at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. His program featured the world premieres of his meticulous reconstructions of Gershwin’s breathtaking improvisations. A year later he was invited to New York to meet members of Gershwin’s family, including Gershwin’s sister Frances Godowsky. In 1994, he gave his New York and Washington, D.C., debuts to tremendous acclaim, and the following year, he made his debut at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London, performing the work with which he has become so closely associated – George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” the BBC hailing him as “The Gershwin pianist of our time.”  Gibbons returns to Cape Girardeau for this special one-week residency, with lecture demonstrations of the life and times of Gershwin, as well as appearing as special guest artist with the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra.