Lana Del Rey covers Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ to support New York and LA Philharmonics amid pandemic

20 November 2020, 10:49

Lana Del Rey covers 'Summertime' to support New York and LA Philharmonics
Lana Del Rey covers Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ to support New York and LA Philharmonics. Picture: Lana Del Rey/YouTube

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Del Rey has covered George Gershwin’s beloved American standard to support two leading US orchestras – the NY and LA Phil – through the coronavirus pandemic.

American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey has released a new track called ‘Summertime The Gershwin Version’.

Her interpretation of Gershwin’s American musical standard benefits both the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, whose concerts have been cancelled through summer 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

‘Summertime’, originally from Gershwin’s 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, has dipped into pretty much every musical genre imaginable.

An opera aria with African American folk and spiritual influences, it was soon after interpreted by legends including Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and morphed into a jazz standard.

It is now one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music.

Read more: 12-year-old girl makes history as one of New York Phil’s youngest composers >

Lana Del Rey is also encouraging listeners to donate to the LA Phil’s ‘Play Your Part’ and to the NY Phil’s ‘NY Plays On Fund’.

The NY Phil has estimated a net loss of $10m due to the coronavirus shutdown, while the LA Phil says it has lost $105m because of cancelled concert bookings.

“We’re incredibly grateful for Lana Del Rey’s support and for her drawing attention to the challenges arts organisations have faced over the past several months,” said Chad Smith, CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where the great maestro Gustavo Dudamel is at the helm.

“The performing arts have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, but we look forward to the day when the orchestra and artists, including Lana, will be able return to our stages again. In the meantime, we are extraordinarily thankful for her support and the many, many other donors who have stepped forward during this difficult time.”

New York Philharmonic President and CEO, Deborah Borda, added: “What a wonderful gift from Lana Del Rey! It’s particularly poetic, since the song is by George Gershwin – the legendary composer-pianist whose music the New York Philharmonic has premiered and with whom we performed. We are most grateful to Lana, as we are to all who are supporting us during a crisis faced by all performing arts organisations.”

Buy and download ‘Summertime’ here >