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Encyclopedia > Kay Swift

Kay Swift (18971993) was an American composer of popular and classical music who was first woman to score a complete musical. Written in 1930, Fine and Dandy, includes some of her best known songs including title work which has become a jazz standard. "Can't We be Friends" (1929) was another important hit. Swift also arranged some of the music of George Gershwin posthumously such as the Prelude, "Sleepless Night" (1946). Events January 1 - Brooklyn, New York merges with New York City. ... 1993 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003) Events Media:January January 1 - Czechoslovakia divides. ... The United States of America — also referred to as the United States, the U.S.A., the U.S., America, the States, or (archaically) Columbia—is a federal republic of 50 states located primarily in central North America (with the exception of two states: Alaska and Hawaii). ... Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theater combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ... 1930 is a common year starting on Wednesday. ... 1929 was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... George Gershwin photograph by Edward Steichen in 1927. ... In music, a prelude is a short piece, usually in no particular form. ... 1946 was a common year starting on Tuesday. ...

Contents

Biography

Swift was educated as a classical musician and composer at the Institute of Musical Art (now known as Julliard). Her teacher of composition was Charles Loeffler while harmony and composition was taught to her by Percy Goetschius. Her father, a music critic, died when she was young. The Edith Rubel Trio was a group with which she had played professionally. Performing at a social event, she met the sister of her future husband James Paul Warburg ("Jimmy") who arranged the meeting of the couple. Warburg was a member of a distinguished jewish family who made their fortune in the banking industry. Swift was not Jewish and thus his prestigious uncle objected to the marriage. Warburg's parents however accepted the marriage. Between 1919 and 1924, Swift had three children by Warburg. (Hyland 89) The Juilliard School is a performing arts conservatory in New York City, informally but definitively identified as simply Juilliard, and most famous for its musically-trained alumni. ... Charles Martin Loeffler (1861—1935) was an Alsace‐born American composer. ...


After she had met George Gershwin in 1925, she was encouraged to write popular pieces although she was classically trained. Her husband—under the pen name of Paul James—served as her lyricist. Before this time, Swift was said to be elitistly against popular music as opposed to classical. Kay and George were more and more frequently seen together. Frequently out of town on business, her husband Jimmy was tolerant later saying that he liked Gershwin and considered him a genius, although he had some resentment toward the "self-centered genius" who had interfered with his life. Jimmy's work as a lyricist was his attempt to compete with her interest in Gershwin. After this alleged affair with Gershwin, Swift's marriage dissolved. In all, the relationship between Gershwin and Swift is estimated to have lasted ten years which was likely due to their similar personalities and musical interests. Gershwin frequently consulted Swift about his musicals and other works. After Gershwin died in 1937, Ira Gershwin collaborated with Swift to complete and arrange some of his unpublished works. (Hyland 90) Events January-May January 3 - Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy. ... 1937 was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... George (left) and Ira Gershwin Ira Gershwin (born Israel Gershowitz) (December 6, 1896 - August 17, 1983) American lyricist, collaborator with, and brother of George Gershwin He is interred in the Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. ...


Oh, Kay!

The Gershwin musical Oh, Kay! is said to be named for Kay Swift and the leading male character is named Jimmy after her husband, Jimmy Warburg. Although Swift's name was Katharine, George Gershwin coined the nickname Kay. The authors of Oh, Kay! worked with the Gershwins for the musical which was originally to be named Mayfair. It was renamed as well after Swift. (Hyland 108)


External links

  • KaySwift.com (http://www.kayswift.com)
  • Gershwinfan.com (http://www.gershwinfan.com) - Kay Swift's granddaughter, Katharine Weber, has been known to answer questions about her grandmother on this site's forum.

References

Hyland, William G. George Gershwin : A New Biography. Praeger Publishers (August 30, 2003) ISBN 0275981118


  Results from FactBites:
 
Kay Swift - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (431 words)
Kay Swift (19 April 1897 – 28 January 1993) was an American composer of popular and classical music, the first woman to score a complete musical.
Swift was educated as a classical musician and composer at the Institute of Musical Art (now known as The Juilliard School).
Swift was not Jewish, and Jimmy's prestigious uncle objected to the marriage.
Kay Swift at AllExperts (530 words)
Kay Swift (19 April 1897–28 January 1993) was an American composer of popular and classical music who was the first woman to score a complete musical.
Swift, however, was not Jewish, and his prestigious uncle objected to the marriage.
In all, the relationship between Gershwin and Swift is estimated to have lasted ten years which was likely due to their similar personalities and musical interests.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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