About Ira Gershwin
Ira Gershwin, born Israel Gershovitz on December 6, 1896, and passing away on August 17, 1983, was an American lyricist, famous for his collaboration with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin.
Together, they created some of the most iconic and enduring songs in the history of American music, particularly during the early to mid-20th century. Ira’s fame primarily stems from his contributions to the world of musical theater, Film, and popular music. He wrote the lyrics for numerous hit songs and Broadway musicals, often in partnership with his brother George. Some of their most famous collaborations include the opera Porgy and Bess (with DuBose and Dorothy Heyward), the musical Girl Crazy, the film Shall We Dance, the musical Lady Be Good!, as well as the musical Funny Face. For Of Thee I Sing, Ira was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.
Ira’s witty and sophisticated lyrics, often exploring themes of love, romance, and the human experience, have left an indelible mark on the American songbook. His work continues to be celebrated and performed by artists of all generations, contributing to the enduring legacy of the Gershwin brothers in the realm of music and entertainment.
2023 marks the start of the the first scholarly critical edition of his works as part of the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition. It is the result of the Gershwin Initiative of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan in collaboration with the Gershwin Heirs Association and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and published by Schott Music. Mark Clague is the editor-in-chief.
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