Pianist Kirill Gerstein’s album The Gershwin Moment explores the unique musical persona and cultural legacy of George Gershwin (1898-1937) at a time when the composer’s synthesis of various styles is ever more culturally relevant and his music more widely appreciated in the nation’s concert halls. The album features Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F recorded live with the St. Louis Symphony under David Robertson, as well as “Summertime” with Pink Martini vocalist Storm Large, Oscar Levant’s “Blame It On My Youth” with legendary jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton, and selections from Earl Wild’s Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin. Recorded for myrios classics, the album is available as a physical CD or digitally via retailers including Apple Music / iTunes and Amazon.
In focusing on Gershwin, Mr. Gerstein spotlights a musician who, like himself, came out of both the classical and jazz traditions. Gershwin decided to become a composer after hearing Dvořák’s G-flat Humoresque and then went on to write numerous well-known jazz standards and jazz-influenced concert works. Mr. Gerstein taught himself to play jazz at an early age by listening to his parents’ extensive record collection, and after jazz piano studies at the Berklee College of Music, has gone on to build a career as a classical pianist, though jazz remains a significant influence on his artistry.