New Work Honoring 2024 Centennial of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

New Work Honoring 2024 Centennial of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

Sunday, June 9, 2024, at 4pm at George Mason University Center for the Arts

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Christopher Zimmerman, will present the Virginia premiere of Peter Boyer’s Rhapsody in Red, White, and Blue, with piano soloist Jeffrey Biegel, on Sunday, June 9, 2024, at 4 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. Biegel commissioned the work from Boyer to commemorate the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s landmark masterwork Rhapsody in Blue, which is also on this concert program. This special program that honors the past and looks to the future of American classical music closes with Amy Beach’s “Gaelic” Symphony. 

Biegel and Zimmerman discuss the new Rhapsody and its influences in a pre-concert talk at 3 p.m.

“Our season finale is a celebration of great American orchestral music, old and new, known and unknown,” said Christopher Zimmerman, FSO conductor and music director. “The centerpiece is a brand-new piano concerto by the young American composer Peter Boyer, inspired by Gershwin's beloved "Rhapsody in Blue" with which it is paired. Again, we bring in the virtuoso performer for whom the piece was written, the great American pianist Jeffrey Biegel.”

Rhapsody in Red, White, and Blue takes the form of a single multi-sectional movement — like Gershwin’s original — that contains allusions to blues influences and depictions of iconic American vistas. 

Before introducing local audiences to Boyer’s new American classic, Biegel also joins the FSO for the work that inspired it all: George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which was originally premiered on February 12, 1924 with Gershwin himself as soloist.