Back Next

Composer and songwriter George Gershwin (1898-1937) collaborated with his brother Ira on a number of highly successful songs and musical comedies. Although success had substantially advanced George's opinion of himself and his capabilities, he remained willing to learn. At one time he considered studying with the noted classical composer Ravel in Paris.

When Gershwin approached the French composer for lessons, Ravel replied with a question:

"How much do your earn a year from your compositions?"

"Between one hundred and two hundred thousand dollars," replied George.

"Then it is I who must ask you to teach me to compose," said Ravel.