Crazy for You: George Gershwin and His Music

Two Wednesdays, October 17 and 24, 6:00–7:30 p.m. | Private residence; address will be given to subscribers; limited enrollment A reception will follow each session.

Seventy years after his death, George Gershwin remains a vivid presence both at home and abroad. Embodied in his music are blues, jazz, and classical traditions combined in unique, memorable ways. Author-pianist Howard Pollack will lead a two-session course, with piano performance, which will begin by following Gershwin from his childhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, to his apprenticeship on Tin Pan Alley and Broadway, to his hit song “Swanee” (1919), to the premiere of the ever-popular Rhapsody in Blue and his first Broadway smash, Lady Be Good (both 1924). The second session will continue with explorations of An American in Paris (1926), Porgy and Bess (1935), and his Hollywood film scores, all of which ended with an untimely death in 1937 at the age of 38.

Howard Pollack is the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Music and chair of the musicology department at the University of Houston, where he has taught since 1987. He is the author of five books, including an award-winning biography of Aaron Copland. His most recent book, George Gershwin: His Life and Work (2006), has been deemed “endlessly fascinating” (New York Times) and “a gripping read” (Charleston News and Courier), with “some of the best musical analysis you’re likely to find anywhere” (Toronto Globe and Mail).

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Registration for fall 2018 is ongoing. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


If you are interested in traveling to Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy. 


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern on Wednesday, November 14 is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. A second session has been added and will meet Monday, November 12 from 2:00-3:30 P.M. Registrations are being accepted for November 12. You may register online, or by phone.


Who Gets to Vote: Challenges for the 2020 Elections?
Speaker: Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voter Rights Project
Monday, November 19, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Location to be announced


Register today!


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.