Who composed the orchestral piece "An American in Paris"?
"An American in Paris" is a jazz-influenced orchestral piece by American composer George Gershwin first performed in 1928. It was inspired by the time that Gershwin had spent in Paris and evokes the sights and energy of the French capital in the 1920s.
Walter Damrosch had asked Gershwin to write a full concerto following the success of "Rhapsody in Blue" (1924). Gershwin scored the piece for the standard instruments of the symphony orchestra plus celesta, saxophones, and automobile horns. He brought back four Parisian taxi horns for the New York premiere of the composition, which took place on December 13, 1928, in Carnegie Hall, with Damrosch conducting the New York Philharmonic. He completed the orchestration on November 18, less than four weeks before the work's premiere. He collaborated on the original program notes with critic and composer Deems Taylor.
In 1951, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released the musical film" An American in Paris", featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. Winning the 1951 Best Picture Oscar and numerous other awards, the film was directed by Vincente Minnelli, featured many tunes of Gershwin, and concluded with an extensive, elaborate dance sequence built around the "An American in Paris" symphonic poem (arranged for the film by Johnny Green), costing $500,000.