“Why be a second-rate Ravel when you can be a first-rate Gershwin?” Thus said the great French composer when the great American song writer asked him for lessons. Gershwin’s jazzy tone poem about the City of Lights pairs wonderfully with Ravel’s Boléro, a provocation inspired by the rhythms of the fandango and the factory. Between these two popular pieces, we welcome back the incredible Joyce Yang to perform Samuel Barber’s titanic Piano Concerto. This cinematic and passionate work is a true American masterpiece.

Immediately recognizable and completely entrancing, An American in Paris is arguably one of the greatest works to arise from the 1920s. Gershwin’s epic symphonic poem evokes the unparalleled romance and energy of France’s iconic capital, and transports us to a time and place where the wonders of art, fashion, gastronomy, and culture abound. Boléro Blowout is on Sat, July 1, 7:30pm and Sun, July 2, 3pm at Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall.