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Canada's History - - FROM THE ARCHIVES -

After a 1923 con­cert by Eva Gau­thier in New York, the pop­u­lar band­leader Paul White­man asked to speak to her ac­com­pa­nist. White­man asked the pi­anist, Ge­orge Gersh­win, to write a piece for an up­com­ing con­cert, “An Ex­per­i­ment in Mod­ern Mu­sic.”

Ac­cord­ing to Gau­thier (if not also the Hol­ly­wood ver­sion of Gersh­win’s life in An Amer­i­can in Paris),

Rhap­sody in Blue had its first pub­lic hear­ing a few weeks later, after a re­hearsal of Gau­thier’s show — which, in­ci­den­tally, the crit­ics did not like. In 1982, how­ever, John Rock­well of the New York Times wrote that the con­cert “sparked Gersh­win’s own in­ter­est in ex­pand­ing his artis­tic hori­zons and be­ing taken ‘se­ri­ously.’”

Gersh­win and Gau­thier stayed in touch; in 1935, he in­vited her to a party cel­e­brat­ing the open­ing of his opera Porgy and Bess.

Guests at a 1928 party hosted by Eva Gau­thier gather around her as she sits at the pi­ano; Ge­orge Gersh­win is stand­ing on the far right.

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