Grofé, Ferde

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American composer Ferde Grofe (1892-1972) is best known for his Grand Canyon Suite and for his orchestration of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

From the description of Ferde Grofé collection, ca. 1890-ca. 1960 (bulk ca. 1920-ca. 1940). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71128295

Composed 1933. First performance New York, Carnegie Hall, 25 January 1933, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, Paul Whiteman conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Tabloid : No. 1 : Run of the news / Ferde Grofe. [19--] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 52155205

Commissioned 1935 by the American Rolling Mills Co. Originally composed for symphonic band, 1935; transcribed same year. First performance New York, 1 February 1936, in an NBC broadcast, Frank Black conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony in steel / by Ferde Grofé. [19--] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 52155204

Composed 1931. First performance Chicago, 22 November 1931, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, Paul Whiteman conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Grand Canyon suite / Ferde Grofé. [19--] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 52155197

Commissioned by Catherine LIttlefield for her Littlefield Ballet Company which was originally based in Philadelphia. Inspired by certain aspects of contemporary American life, the ballet's setting recalled the night-club life of "Manhattan's El Morocco," one of the swankier clubs in New York City. Grofé conducted the premiere on 13 Nov. 1938 at Chicago's Opera House with the Littlefield Ballet which had relocated from Philadelphia to Chicago. First performance in concert form, 3 May, 1942 by the Pennsylvania W.P.A. Symphony Orchestra at Irvine Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania, Guglielmo Sabatini, conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Café society / Ferde Grofé. [1938]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 187099781

American composer, pianist, and arranger.

From the description of Autograph postal card signed, dated : [Santa Monica, 1 Feb. 1968], to James J. Fuld, 1968 Feb. 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270932551

Ferde Grofe was born into a musical family. He began playing the piano when he was five years of age and was arranging music by the time he was nine. At age fourteen he ran away from home because his family tried to discourage his musical talents. He supported himself working odd jobs during the day and playing piano or other instruments in cafes and honky-tonks at night. By the age of twenty he was playing in the viola section of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra.

In 1920 he met Paul Whitman and began a long career with Whitman's jazz orchestra, arranging and writing the music Whitman played. He also worked with George Gershwin in 1924 on Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," taking the musical score from Gershwin and arranging it for a symphony orchestra.

In the 1930s Grofe was the orchestra conductor for a number of radio programs including the Burns and Allen Show. He also began his own composing career writing the "Grand Canyon Suite" among several other compositions. He received an Academy Award for his musical score of the "Minstrel Man."

From the description of Ferde Grofe papers, 1930-1969. (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 57141362

Biographical Note

Ferdinand Rudolph Grofé was born in New York on March 27, 1892 . He studied piano, violin, and harmony with his mother, and viola with his grandfather. Grofé began his professional career with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, where he was violist for ten years, from 1909-1919 . In 1919, Grofé joined the Paul Whiteman Band as pianist and arranger. Along with Whiteman, he became one of the leading figures of symphonic jazz. Grofé's arrangement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for its premiere by the Whiteman Band in 1924 established his reputation. He performed two concerts of his own compositions and arrangements at Carnegie Hall, and organized his own "New World Ensemble" for the 1939 New York World's Fair. His most popular work is his Grand Canyon Suite (1931). Grofé was nominated for an Academy Award in 1944 for scoring the film Minstrel Man . Ferde Grofé died on April 3, 1972, in Santa Monica, Calif.

From the guide to the Ferde Grofé Collection, 1890-1960, (bulk 1920-1940), (Music Division Library of Congress)

Ferde Grofé was born into a musical family. He began playing the piano when he was five years of age and was arranging music by the time he was nine. At age fourteen he ran away from home because his family tried to discourage his musical talents. He supported himself working odd jobs during the day and playing piano or other instruments in cafés and honky-tonks at night. By the age of twenty he was playing in the viola section of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra and remained with them for ten years. In 1920 he met Paul Whitman and began a long career with Whitman’s jazz orchestra, arranging and writing the music Whitman played. He also worked with George Gershwin in 1924 on Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” taking the musical score from Gershwin and arranging it for a symphony orchestra.

In the 1930s Grofé was the orchestra conductor for a number of radio programs including the Ford Motor Company Radio Show, Burns and Allen, and CBS Radio Show. He also began his own composing career writing the “Grand Canyon,” “Mississippi,” “Tabloid,” “Hollywood,” and “Aviation” Suites, “Three Shades of Blue,” “Metropolis,” “Free Air,” and several others. He was on the faculty of the Juilliard Summer School from 1939-1943 and participated in national educational projects for music in America. He also composed musical scores for several Hollywood productions. He received an Academy Award for the musical score of “Minstrel Man.”

From the guide to the Ferde Grofé Papers, 1930-1969, (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Tabloid : No. 1 : Run of the news / Ferde Grofe. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn Duke Ellington recordings collection Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Ferde Grofé Papers, 1930-1969 University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Three shades of blue / Ferde Grofé. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Colling, Joseph B. Papers, 1980. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Ferde Grofé Collection, 1890-1960, (bulk 1920-1940) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Busse, Henry, 1894-1955. Hot lips. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Busse, Henry, 1894-1955. Hot lips [Multimédia multisupport]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Hubbell, Raymond, 1879-1954. Poor butterfly / by Ray Hubbell ; [arr. by] Ferde Grofé. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Tabloid : No. 4 : Going to press / Ferde Grofe. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Manuscript music compositions, 1880-1985. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Symphony in steel / by Ferde Grofé. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Valley of enchantment : symphonic suite for band / by Ferde Grofé ; arranged by Robert Hawkins. Library of Congress
referencedIn Johnny Green papers, 1920-1991. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. [Popular songs / arranged by Ferde Grofé for Paul Whiteman and his orchestra.] New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Tabloid : No. 2 : Sob sister / Ferde Grofe. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Correspondence, literary manuscripts, sound recordings, and other material, 1873-2001. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Strong, Roger W. [The Department of Music, Central State University, presents the CSU Symphony Orchestra in a program of light orchestral music] [sound recording] : [Instrumental Rehearsal Room, December 9, 1971, 8:00 p.m.]. University of Central Oklahoma, Chambers Library
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Café society / Ferde Grofé. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Ferde Grofe papers, 1930-1969. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Glasser, Albert. Albert Glasser papers, 1939-1993 University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn Jascha Heifetz Collection, 1802-1987, (bulk 1911-1974) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Albert Glasser papers, 1939-1993 University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Gershwin, George, 1898-1937. "Rhapsody in blue". Piano solo and orchestra, [by] George Gershwin. Score by Ferdie Grofé. [New York.]. Eastman School of Music
referencedIn Johnny Green additional papers, 1923-1989. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Gershwin, George, 1898-1937. Blue Monday [microform] : 135th St. / by Geo. Gershwin ; score by Ferdie Grofé. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Philadelphia Orchestra. Transcription of WFLN radio broadcast [sound recording], 1967 December 11 and 1968 April 8. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Tabloid : No. 3 : Comic strips / Ferde Grofe. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn Landweer, Lulu Dorothea Rubke. Lulu Dorothea Rubke Landweer papers, 1911-1961. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Grand Canyon suite / Ferde Grofé. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Gershwin, George, 1898-1937. Rhapsody in blue (1924) : page 33 of Ferde Grofe's setting for jazz band and piano solo / George Gershwin. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn The Bell Telephone Hour collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1940-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf American Music Edition records, 1920-1997, 1951-1991 Music Library
creatorOf Interlochen Center for the Arts. Interlochen Center for the Arts records, ca.1880-[ongoing]. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn The Bell Telephone Hour collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1940-1968 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Hollywood suite : from the Hollywood ballet / Ferde Grofé. Library of Congress
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Correspondence, literary manuscripts, sound recordings, and other material, 1873-2001. Houghton Library.
referencedIn United States Postal Service. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1997-2005. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Autograph postal card signed, dated : [Santa Monica, 1 Feb. 1968], to James J. Fuld, 1968 Feb. 1. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Grofé, Ferde, 1892-1972. Ferde Grofé collection, ca. 1890-ca. 1960 (bulk ca. 1920-ca. 1940). Library of Congress
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associatedWith Moldenhauer, Hans, collector. person
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)
California--Los Angeles
Gunnison River Valley (Colo.)
Subject
Orchestral music, Arranged
Ballet--Scores and parts
Music--Manuscripts--United States
Ballets--Excerpts, Arranged
Suites (Band), Arranged--Scores
Suites (Piano), Arranged
Jazz
Motion picture music
Motion picture industry--Songs and music
Suites--Excerpts--Scores and parts
Symphonies--Scores and parts
Radio music
Orchestral music--Scores and parts
Orchestral music
Orchestral music, Arranged--Scores
Suites (Orchestra)--Scores and parts
Composers--United States
Arrangers (Musicians)--United States
Occupation
Composers
Collector
Arrangers
Conductors (Music)
Function

Person

Birth 1892-03-27

Death 1972-04-03

Americans

English,

German

Information

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