George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris, as well as the opera Porgy and Bess.
Born in Brooklyn to a Ukrainian father of Jewish descent and a Russian mother, Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark and Henry Cowell. He began his career as a song plugger, but soon thereafter started composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris in an attempt to study with Nadia Boulanger, where he began to compose An American in Paris.