Whiteman, Paul, 1891–1967, American conductor, b. Denver. Whiteman played viola in the Denver Symphony Orchestra and in 1915 joined the San Francisco Symphony. During World War I he was an army band leader. In 1924 he inaugurated the period of
symphonic jazzwhen he introduced Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in New York City. Whiteman encouraged the composition of concert jazz works by establishing the annual Whiteman Award. He was influential in the formation of large jazz ensembles. His books include Jazz (1926) and Records for the Millions (1948).
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