CPR Classical Presents: Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ with pianist Jon Kimura Parker and the National Repertory Orchestra at the King Center in Denver

A man leaning over the keys of a grand piano.
CPR Classical presents pianist Jon Kimura Parker at the King Center in Denver on July 20.

One hundred years ago, New Yorkers packed the city's Aeolian Hall to see a highly publicized concert called, "An experiment on modern music." Luminaries included composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, violinist Fritz Kreisler and conductor Leopold Stokowski.

They were there to witness the premiere of George Gershwin's new piece that promised to fuse danceable jazz rhythms with classical music. In 1924, traditional classical aficionados tended to avoid jazz even though it was wildly popular with the public. Gershwin's new piece was an experiment to see if jazz could be brought into the classical music performance hall.

"Rhapsody in Blue" was an instant success with Irving Berlin claiming that Gershwin was “the only songwriter I know who became a composer.” 

Join CPR Classical for a performance of Gershwin's iconic work Saturday, July 20 at the King Center on the Auraria Campus. Award-winning pianist Jon Kimura Parker joins the National Repertory Orchestra for Gershwin's "Rhapsody." Beethoven's Symphony #6 "Pastoral" rounds out the program.

Tickets are just $40 and only $5 for students!

Host Karla Walker will be on hand to welcome you to the concert.

Tune in for Summerfest 2024

There are a variety of ways to hear great performances by today’s top artists as well as legendary singers from the Metropolitan Opera’s history. Download the Colorado Public Radio app, tune in at radio signals around Colorado, or you can tell your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical."