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Monday, April 4, 2011

MSO Pops' 'Tribute to Cole Porter'

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­­Cole Porter, born in Peru, Ind., in 1891, personified sophistication. His parents encouraged him to study music and acting. He chose the violin and piano—and completed his first song at the age of 10. Understanding the boy's talent, his parents sent him to Worcester Academy, known for its strong music department. A few years later Porter entered Yale, where he wrote the Yale football songs "Bulldog" and "Bingo, Eli Yale."

Porter's first musical, See America First, was not well received by audiences. But it is widely thought that had he not experienced this initial setback, he would not have pushed forward and moved to France, where he drank in the inspiration of Paris' café life. In 1923 Porter wrote what was perhaps the first symphonic jazz composition, the score for Gerald Murphy's ballet Within the Quota. It debuted a few months before George Gershwin's more celebrated Rhapsody in Blue.

Porter is best remembered for a string of sophisticated hit songs, including "Let's Do It," "Night and Day" and "I've Got You Under My Skin," along with the ever-popular musical Kiss Me, Kate, based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.

Join guest conductor Marvin Hamlisch and the MSO Pops for a "Tribute to Cole Porter" 8 p.m. April 8-9 and 2:30 p.m. April 10 at Uihlein Hall in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.
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