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Downtown signs new deal for George Gershwin catalogue

By | Published on Wednesday 1 May 2019

Downtown Music Publishing

Downtown Music Publishing has signed a new deal to represent a large chunk of the George Gershwin catalogue. And just as the composer’s opera ‘Porgy And Bess’ is about to be performed at the New York Metropolitan Opera for the first time in nearly 30 years. Top deal doing, guys!

“The George Gershwin catalogue, including his work on ‘Porgy And Bess’ with DuBose and Dorthy Heyward, features not only some of the most iconic songs in the Great American Songbook, but represents the building blocks of popular music”, says Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz. “To be entrusted with these legendary works – which remain as culturally relevant today as ever – is a true honour and a testament to our team”.

Jonathan Keidan of the Gershwin/Godowsky Trust adds: “In thinking about the next home for these celebrated works, we wanted a focused, creative and energetic music publisher. Downtown understands both the importance of nurturing these American classics – ensuring that they remain beloved and relevant today while also finding new ways to bring them to the next generation of Gershwin fans”.

The catalogue was previously signed over to Songs Publishing in 2014. As mentioned above, this new deal comes ahead of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s revival of ‘Porgy And Bess’, set to open in September. It’s hoped that this will drive renewed interest in Gershwin’s compositions in the US.

Although Gershwin died in 1937, meaning his standalone compositions are now out of copyright in Europe, in the US music from his era still has copyright protection because of the way copyright terms worked back then. Plus his collaborations with lyricists who died later may also enjoy copyright protection elsewhere too.