Ferdinand Rudolph von Grofé

Happy Birthday Ferdie (Ferde) Grofe March 27, 1892
This fella was a musician's musician.  He could play (LA Philharmonic), he could compose absolutely enjoyable music (Grand Canyon Suite - on the trail??? anyone? Buellar?), and he could arrange music.  That means he could take piano music and add the meat to it.  For a dozen years he was the pianist and arranger for the Paul Whitman Orchestra, a wonderful group and as such, his biggest claim to fame was his arrangement of the accompanying piano part to George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.  Simply put, he knew what he was doing and no matter who you talked to, he was deemed "competent".

I had several teachers early on who knew him and worked with him. They thought him a genius; a savant. I thought the teachers were geniuses.  Grofe must have been really some pumpkins.

Anyway, its his birthday today. He would have been 122. Old. His musical work, however, is as fresh as yesterday.  The music below is by Gershwin. Grofe arranged for the orchestra.