George Gershwin was an American composer, pianist and painter whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs “Swanee” (1919) and “Fascinating Rhythm” (1924), the jazz standard “I Got Rhythm” (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), which gave birth to the hit “Summertime”. “Summertime” is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based, although the song is also co-credited to Ira Gershwin by ASCAP. The song soon became a popular and much-recorded jazz standard, described as “without doubt … one of the finest songs the composer ever wrote … Gershwin’s highly evocative writing brilliantly mixes elements of jazz and the song styles of blacks in the southeast United States from the early twentieth century.” Gershwin began composing the song in December 1933, in the style of the African American folk music of the period. Gershwin had completed setting DuBose Heyward’s poem to music by February 1934 and spent the next 20 months completing and orchestrating the score of the opera.