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January 22, 2007

Pianist Robert Wyatt to Present George Gershwin Anecdotes, Music at Falmouth Forum Finale, March 15

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA— Pianist Robert Wyatt will present "From Ragtime to Riches: The Life of George Gershwin” on Thursday, March 15 at 7:30 PM in the MBL’s (Marine Biological Laboratory’s) Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole. The free musical performance, presented by the MBL Associates and sponsored in part by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, is the final presentation in the 2006-2007 Falmouth Forum series.

Although the music of George Gershwin is known universally, many people are less aware of the circumstances surrounding his brief but fascinating life. Wyatt, author of The George Gershwin Reader, connects the disciplines of biography and musical performance in an entertaining and enjoyable potpourri of sound and anecdote. The program will include Gershwin’s composition, Preludes for Piano, early piano rags, improvisations on hit songs, unpublished works, and the ever-popular solo version of Rhapsody in Blue.

Robert Wyatt has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with recitals at institutions including the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, and the embassies of Great Britain, France, Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands. Other recent performances and radio broadcasts have included venues in New York City, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Houston, with lecture/recitals in Quebec City and Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the State Department in April 2006.

Recognized for his scholarship as well as his artistic abilities, Wyatt has presented papers and recitals for national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, and the Society for American Music, where he is known as a specialist in 20th century American music. In 1987, he discovered several unpublished piano preludes by George Gershwin, and, in the ensuing years, has pursued research that has established him as one of the nation's foremost Gershwin scholars.

Wyatt’s book, The George Gershwin Reader, was released in 2004 to critical acclaim by the Oxford University Press and was selected as the “Book of the Year” by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The paperback edition will be available in summer 2007. Wyatt holds three degrees in piano performance, studying with Bela Nagy and completing his doctorate with the eminent Hungarian pianist, Edward Kilenyi. He has also served on the faculties of Boston University and The Florida State University. Wyatt is a permanent lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution and is also a Steinway Artist.

Admission to this Falmouth Forum presentation is free and open to the public. A buffet dinner is available before the lecture at 6:00 PM in the Swope Center located near the auditorium. Dinner tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance at either Eight Cousins Children’s Books, Main Street, Falmouth, or at the MBL’s Communications Office in the Candle House, 127 Water Street in Woods Hole. Dinner seats are limited, and tickets are only available until they sell out or until 5:00 PM on Monday, March 12. All tickets are nonrefundable. For more information contact the MBL’s Communications Office at 508-289-7423.

Visit http://www.mbl.edu/falmouthforum for more information.


The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu

Since 1944, the MBL Associates has promoted the scientific mission of the MBL. The group supports the Annual Fund, provides a formal connection for anyone interested in learning about the institution, and sponsors gifted students and promising young investigators. Members also raise funds for special projects and organize educational and cultural programs for the MBL and the community. In addition, they operate the MBL Associates Gift Shop, located on Water Street in Woods Hole, the profits from which support scientific fellowships.