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 Ferde Grofe

Ferde Grofe

Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 3 Apr 1972 (aged 80)
Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Mausoleum of the Golden West, Sanctuary of Faith, Crypt E-324
Memorial ID 423 · View Source
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Composer. He sought to depict the natural wonders and bustling excitement of American life in his music. His magnum opus, the "Grand Canyon Suite," is still a concert hall favorite. Grofe was born in New York City, the descendant of four generations of musicians, and moved to Los Angeles as a child. He ran away from home at 14 and travelled throughout the country, supporting himself as a factory worker, truck driver, milkman, and saloon pianist; the sights he saw on his adventures influenced his later work. During the 1920s Grofe was the arranger for Paul Whiteman's jazz band, and he orchestrated George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" for its historic 1924 premiere. The "Grand Canyon Suite" was composed in segments over a ten-year period and introduced by Whiteman in 1931. Grofe then rescored it for full orchestra, and it was this revised version, first performed in 1934, that made a tremendous impression on the public. It was the first piece of American music conducted by the legendary Arturo Toscanini, and its witty third movement, "On the Trail," was used or imitated in so many Hollywood westerns that it became a cliche. Despite his gifts as a musical illustrator and great orchestral technique, Grofe never duplicated this success with his other forays into Americana (including the "Mississippi Suite," "Death Valley Suite," "New England Suite," and many others). The advent of the CD gave Grofe's reputation a posthumous boost. With the sonic variety it offered, the "Grand Canyon Suite" became a fetish piece for audiophiles and was one of the most frequently recorded classical works of the early digital era. In 1997 the United States Postal Service issued a stamp in Grofe's honor for his contributions to American music.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 423
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ferde Grofe (27 Mar 1892–3 Apr 1972), Find A Grave Memorial no. 423, citing Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .