Thursday, April 18, 2024

Symphony celebrates 100 years of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ with pianist Terrence Wilson

by Daily Inter Lake
| February 15, 2024 12:00 AM

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s beloved “Rhapsody in Blue” with Grammy-nominated pianist Terrence Wilson and the Glacier Symphony Orchestra, Feb. 17 at McClaren Hall in the Wachholz College Center.

The audience is encouraged to dress in 1920s attire. 

Rhapsody in Blue, which debuted Feb. 12, 1924, as part of bandleader Paul Whiteman’s “An Experiment in Modern Music” concert at New York’s Aeolian Concert Hall, is known for integrating jazz rhythms with classical music. The composition, perhaps Gershwin’s most famous, is one of the most performed of all American concert works, and its opening clarinet glissando is among the most recognized musical passages in the world.

The evening will also feature the groundbreaking “Afro-American Symphony” also known as “Symphony No. 1” by William Grant Still and the “Piano Concerto in One Movement” by composer Florence Price. Both composers’ accomplishments were groundbreaking in the 1920s and 1930s, as both are Black composers and Price, also being a woman.

Stills’ “Symphony No.1” was first performed by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra marking the first time in U.S. history that a major orchestra premiered a symphony written by a Black person.

Wilson has appeared as a soloist with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, St. Louis, and with the orchestras of Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia, as well as the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Abroad, the acclaimed pianist has performed with ensembles such as the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland, the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

His performances have earned him an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Juilliard Petschek Award. In 2011, he was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Instrumental Soloist with an Orchestra category.

Wilson is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky. He has also enjoyed the invaluable mentorship of the Romanian pianist and teacher Zitta Zohar. A native of the Bronx, he resides in Montclair, New Jersey. In March 2021, he was appointed to the piano faculty at Bard College Conservatory of Music.

The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets prices start at $39 for adults and $15 for college students. Youths 18 and under are free. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 407-7000.

   Terrence Wilson