Ferde Grofé

Grand Canyon Suite

            Early in his career, Ferde Grofé made an indelible mark on American music, for it was he who orchestrated Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Grofé was Paul Whiteman’s staff arranger, and without his experience and craftsmanship, there is no small doubt that Gershwin’s masterpiece would have been ready in time, or even have achieved the succès fou that it did.  He created so much of the “sound” that we associate with Gershwin’s composition, and in 1942 went on to create the arrangement for full symphonic orchestra that everybody knows today. But, of course, Grofé was an accomplished composer in his own right, and Grand Canyon Suite is the work by which he is remembered today.