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Show TunesThe Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway’s Major Composers$
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Steven Suskin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314076.001.0001

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Vernon Duke

Vernon Duke

Born: October 10, 1903, Parafianovo (Minsk), Russia

Died: January 17, 1969, Santa Monica, California

(p.152) Vernon Duke
Show Tunes

Steven Suskin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the work of Vernon Duke. It begins with an extended commentary of his career, followed by details on productions, with data and song information. Vladimir Alexandrovitch Dukelsky hailed from a White Russian family, the son of a civil engineer. A precocious musical prodigy, as a preteen he enrolled in the Kiev Conservatory and studied with Glière. He then emigrated to America, where he worked at musical odd-jobs. When one of the nineteen-year-old Dukelsky’s “modernistic” compositions was performed at a concert by recitalist Eva Gauthier, he was befriended by the twenty-four-year-old composer of Swanee, George Gershwin, who became the youngster’s mentor, finding him bits and pieces of work along the way.

Keywords:   Vernon Duke, musical prodigy, Broadway musicals, musical theater, show tunes, George Gershwin, Glière

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