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Best Theatrical Composer of All Time

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    1
    Stephen Trask

    Stephen Trask

    • Plays Composed: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
    Stephen Trask (born 1967) is an American musician and composer, who graduated from Wesleyan University. He was the music director and house band member at the New York club Squeezebox, where he performed with stars such as Debbie Harry, Lene Lovich and Joey Ramone. Trask composed the music and lyrics for the off-Broadway stage musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (also a 2001 film), about a transsexual rock star named Hedwig. Trask's real-life band Cheater performed as Hedwig's band "The Angry Inch". He received an Obie Award for the play and a Grammy award nomination for the movie. He has done three films with filmmaker Paul Weitz. He composed the score for 2004's In Good Company and American Dreamz, for which he also co-wrote the numerous songs the contestants sing, as well as the 2009 film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. Trask also scored the 2003 movies Camp and The Station Agent, as well as Dreamgirls (2006), In the Land of Women (2007), The Savages (2007), and The Back-up Plan (2010), among other works. Recently, he scored the 2010 film Little Fockers, a sequel to both Meet the Parents (2000) and Meet the Fockers (2004). Trask performed with Yoko Ono on July 14, 2007
    7.70
    10 votes
    2

    Johnny Burke

    • Plays Composed: Swinging on a Star
    Johnny Burke (October 3, 1908 — February 25, 1964) was a lyricist, widely regarded as one of the finest writers of popular songs in America between the 1920s and 1950s. Burke was born in Antioch, California. When still young, the family moved to Chicago, where Johnny's father founded a construction business. As a youth, he studied the piano and some drama also. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he played piano in the orchestra. After graduating, he joined the Chicago office of the Irving Berlin Publishing Company in 1926, as a pianist and song salesman. Irving Berlin, Inc. transferred Burke to its New York City office, where he began to write lyrics in collaboration with composer Harold Spina. In 1932, they wrote "Shadows on the Swanee", followed in 1933 by "Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore", their first big hit, for the Guy Lombardo Orchestra. In 1934, they wrote "You're Not the Only Oyster in the Stew" which was a novelty hit for Fats Waller, as was "My Very Good Friend, the Milkman". They wrote many songs that were played by leading bands of the day, including those led by Ben Pollack, Paul Whiteman and Ozzie Nelson. 1936 saw the end of the Burke - Spina
    8.00
    7 votes
    3
    Boy George

    Boy George

    • Plays Composed: Taboo
    Boy George (born George Alan O'Dowd on 14 June 1961) is an English singer-songwriter, who was part of the English New Romanticism movement which emerged in the early 1980s. His music is often classified as blue-eyed soul, which is influenced by rhythm and blues and reggae. His 1990s and 2000s-era solo music has glam influences such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop. He also founded and was lead singer of Jesus Loves You during the period 1989–1992. Being involved in many activities (among them songwriting, DJing, writing books, designing clothes and photography), he has released fewer music recordings in the last decade. Boy George was born George Alan O'Dowd at Barnehurst Hospital in Bexley, Kent on 14 June 1961, to Jeremiah and Dinah O'Dowd (née Glynn), who were originally from Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland. He lived with his family on the Middle Park Estate at Joan Crescent London SE9. He attended Eltham Green School in Eltham. He is one of six children. His siblings are Richard, Kevin, David, Gerald, and Siobhan. He was a follower of the New Romantic movement which was popular in Britain in the early 1980s. George frequently lived at the infamous Warren Street Squat in Central
    7.86
    7 votes
    4

    Carol Hall

    • Plays Composed: The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public
    Carol Hall is an American composer and lyricist, born in Abilene, Texas. Hall is best known for composing the music and lyrics for the Broadway stage musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1978, adapted as a film in 1982). Her other major works include the unsuccessful Broadway sequel The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public (1994), as well as the stage play To Whom It May Concern (c. 1986). Hall's career includes singing in clubs and similar venues. She signed to Elektra Records as a singer-sngwriter and had two albums released on the label in the early 1970s, If I Be Your Lady and Beads and Feathers. Hall appeared also on the LP Free to Be… You and Me (1972) and the 1974 television special based on the album, having written the songs "Parents Are People," "It's All Right To Cry," and "Glad To Have A Friend Like You." For the 1977 duet album of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans, entitled Together Again, Hall co-wrote the number "The Two Lonely People." For Sesame Street, Hall along with Sam Pottle co-wrote the song "A Very Simple Dance" (1974). More recently, Hall recorded the final (extra) track on the 2001 revival recording of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, highlighting the
    8.33
    6 votes
    5

    Lucy Simon

    • Plays Composed: The Secret Garden
    Lucy Simon (born 1943) is an American composer for the theatre and popular songs. She is known for the musical, The Secret Garden. She is the older sister of musician Carly Simon and her parents were Richard L. Simon, co-founder of the publishing house Simon & Schuster and Andrea Heinemann Simon. In addition to her younger sister Carly, she has an older sister, opera singer Joanna, and a younger brother photographer Peter. Simon grew up in Fieldston, a section of Riverdale in the Bronx. She attended the Fieldston School, graduating in 1958 and Bennington College. Simon began her professional career at the age of sixteen singing folk tunes with sister Carly as The Simon Sisters and later folk-rock. In the mid-70's, after a number of years away from recording, Lucy released two albums on the RCA label of mostly original compositions, along with a few collaborations and covers. Her self-titled debut album was more folk-rock in orientation while her second album, "Stolen Time," had a contemporary pop sound. Carly Simon and James Taylor provided backing vocals on half of the songs from "Stolen Time." Lucy Simon made her Broadway debut as the composer of The Secret Garden, for which she
    9.40
    5 votes
    6
    Markéta Irglová

    Markéta Irglová

    • Plays Composed: Once
    Markéta Irglová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈmarkɛːta ˈɪrɡlovaː]) (born 28 February 1988, in Valašské Meziříčí, Czech Republic) is a Czech singer-songwriter, musician and actress. Irglová began taking piano lessons at age 8 and began playing the guitar at age 9. Irglová is a member of the band The Swell Season with Glen Hansard. The band released its eponymous album on Overcoat Recordings in 2006. In 2007, Irglova co-starred in the indie movie Once. Irglová co-wrote many of the songs for the film including "Falling Slowly," which received an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The movie won the World Cinema Audience Award for a dramatic film at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Irglová appeared on the 2007 I'm Not There soundtrack with the Swell Season's version of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere". She met Glen Hansard in 2001 when she was only 13 . Her father organized a music festival in the Czech Republic and booked The Frames. Hansard played a large part in, not only her development as an artist and song writer but also, in launching her career. Although they met years earlier, her romantic relationship with Hansard began during the making of the film Once and ended in 2009.
    7.67
    6 votes
    7

    Ray Henderson

    • Plays Composed: Follow Thru
    Ray Henderson, born Raymond Brost, (December 1, 1896 - December 31, 1970) was an American songwriter. Born in Buffalo, New York, Henderson moved to New York City and became a popular composer in Tin Pan Alley. He was one third of a successful songwriting and music publishing team with Lew Brown and Buddy De Sylva from 1925 through 1930, responsible for several editions of the revue called George White's Scandals and such book musicals as Good News, Hold Everything!, and Follow Thru. After De Sylva's departure, Henderson continued to write with Brown through 1933, then worked with other partners. In 1934 he composed the musical Say When with lyricist Ted Koehler. Henderson's biggest hit songs included "That Old Gang of Mine" (from the entries of Our Gang comedy shorts in the 1930's), "Annabelle" (both 1923), "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue", "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" (all 1925), "The Birth of the Blues" (1926), "The Varsity Drag" (1927), "You're The Cream In My Coffee" (1928), "Button Up Your Overcoat", "You Are My Lucky Star" "I'm A Dreamer, Aren't We All", "Keep Your Sunny Side Up" (1929), "The Thrill Is Gone", and "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries"
    7.50
    6 votes
    8
    Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith

    • Plays Composed: Emmanuel: A Musical Celebration of the Life of Christ
    Michael Whitaker Smith (born October 7, 1957) is an American contemporary Christian musician, who has charted primarily in the contemporary Christian and occasionally in the mainstream charts. His biggest success in mainstream music was in 1991 when "Place in this World" hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Smith is a three-time Grammy Award winner, and has earned 40 Dove Awards. Over the course of his career, he sold more than 13 million albums and recorded 29 No. 1 Hit songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums. Smith is an American Music Award recipient; he was also named one of People magazine's "Most Beautiful People". Michael Whitaker Smith was born to Paul and Barbara Smith in Kenova, West Virginia. His father was an oil refinery worker at the Ashland Oil Refinery, one of the ten largest oil refineries in the world, in nearby Catlettsburg, Kentucky and his mother was a caterer. He inherited his love of baseball from his father, who had played in the minor leagues. As a child, he developed a love of music through his church. He learned piano at an early age and sang in his church choir. At the age of 10, he had "an intense spiritual experience" that led to his
    8.20
    5 votes
    9
    Taj Mahal

    Taj Mahal

    • Plays Composed: Joe Turner's Come and Gone
    Henry Saint Clair Fredericks (born May 17, 1942), who uses the stage name Taj Mahal, is an American Grammy Award winning blues musician. He often incorporates elements of world music into his music. A self-taught singer-songwriter and film composer who plays the guitar, banjo and harmonica (among many other instruments), Mahal has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his almost 50 year career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific. Born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, Jr. on May 17, 1942 in Harlem, New York, Mahal grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. Raised in a musical environment, his mother was the member of a local gospel choir and his father was a West Indian jazz arranger and piano player. His family owned a shortwave radio which received music broadcasts from around the world, exposing him at an early age to world music. Early in childhood he recognized the stark differences between the popular music of his day and the music that was played in his home. He also became interested in jazz, enjoying the works of musicians such as Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Milt
    6.14
    7 votes
    10

    Hugh Martin

    • Plays Composed: High Spirits
    Hugh Martin (August 11, 1914 – March 11, 2011) was an American musical theater and film composer, arranger, vocal coach, and playwright. He was best known for his score for the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me In St. Louis, in which Judy Garland sang three Martin songs, "The Boy Next Door," "The Trolley Song," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The last of these has become a Christmas season standard in the United States and around the English-speaking world. Martin became a close friend of Garland and was her accompanist at many of her concert performances in the 1950s, including her appearances at the Palace Theater. Martin was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914. He attended Birmingham-Southern College where he studied music. He was a member of the Beta Beta Chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity Martin wrote the music, and in some cases the lyrics, for five Broadway musicals: Best Foot Forward (1941); Look Ma, I'm Dancin'! (1948); Make a Wish (1951); High Spirits (1964) (music and lyrics, with Timothy Gray); and Meet Me In St. Louis (1989), a stage version of the film with an expanded score by Martin and Ralph Blane. Martin's first Broadway credit was as an arranger for
    8.00
    5 votes
    11
    Riccardo Cocciante

    Riccardo Cocciante

    • Plays Composed: Notre-Dame de Paris
    Riccardo Cocciante [rikˈkardo kotˈtʃante], also known in French-speaking countries as Richard Cocciante [ʁiʃaʁ kɔʃjᾶt] (born 20 February 1946), is an Italian singer-songwriter and composer. His oeuvre includes recordings in Italian, French, and Spanish; he has recorded some of his songs in all three languages. He was born in Saigon, French Indochina, now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to an Italian father and a French mother. He moved to Rome, Italy at the age of 11 where he attended school and started his career as musician coming to success around 1972. He also lived in the USA and Ireland. In 1976, Cocciante covered the Beatles song "Michelle" for the musical documentary All This and World War II. In 1991 he won the Sanremo Festival with the song "Se stiamo insieme", and for Christmas 1997 legendary Spanish operatic tenor and friend Plácido Domingo invited him to sing at Domingo's annual Christmas in Vienna concert, together with Sarah Brightman and Helmut Lotti. As of 2008, Cocciante has three musicals running, probably Notre-Dame de Paris being the most known. This musical may later be put into competition against another musical in progress, Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame
    8.00
    5 votes
    12

    Jimmy McHugh

    • Plays Composed: Sugar Babies
    James Francis McHugh (July 10, 1894 – May 23, 1969) was an American composer. One of the most prolific songwriters from the 1920s to the 1950s, he is credited with over 500 songs. His songs were recorded by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland (who ended up dying only one month after McHugh's), Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Chet Baker, Dinah Washington, June Christy, Peggy Lee, Deanna Durbin, and Ella Fitzgerald. After struggling in a variety of jobs, including rehearsal pianist for the Boston Opera House and pianist/song plugger for Irving Berlin’s publishing company, in 1921, at the age of 26, McHugh relocated to New York City(Forte). Eventually finding employment as a professional manager with the prominent music publisher Jack Mills Inc., it was here that McHugh published his first song “Emaline”, and briefly teamed up with Irving Mills as The Hotsy Totsy Boys to write the hit song “Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now”. This songwriting partnership was just the first of McHugh’s many illustrious collaborations, among them Ted Koehler (“I’m Shooting High”), Al Dubin (“South American Way”) and the great Harold Adamson (“It’s a Most Unusual Day”). As impressive as
    6.00
    7 votes
    13

    Bob Merrill

    • Plays Composed: Take Me Along
    Bob Merrill (May 17, 1921 – February 17, 1998) was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist, and screenwriter. Merrill was born Henry Merrill Levan in Atlantic City, New Jersey and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following a stint with the Army during World War II, he moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a dialogue director for Columbia Pictures. He began his songwriting career writing tunes for Dorothy Shay. One of his first major hits was a country song co-written by Moon Mullican in 1950 entitled "You Don't Have To Be a Baby To Cry", and the 1950 novelty song "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake", co-written with Al Hoffman and Clem Watts and recorded by Eileen Barton. The other eight songs which round out the Top Ten for which he is most well-known include Guy Mitchell recorded many of Merrill's songs including "Sparrow in the Tree Top", She Wears Red Feathers, and "My Truly, Truly Fair". Merrill made his Broadway debut in 1957 with New Girl in Town, a musical adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie. His greatest theatrical success was the Barbra Streisand vehicle Funny Girl, which introduced the standard "People" and "Don't Rain on My
    6.83
    6 votes
    14
    Míkis Theodorakis

    Míkis Theodorakis

    • Plays Composed: The Ballad of the Dead Brother
    Michael "Mikis" Theodorakis (Greek: Μίκης Θεοδωράκης, pronounced [ˈmicis θeoðoˈracis]) (born July 29, 1925) is a Greek songwriter and famous composer. He scored for the films Zorba the Greek (1964), Z (1969), and Serpico (1973). He is viewed as Greece's best-known living composer. Politically, he identified with the left until the late 1980s; in 1989, he ran as an independent candidate within the centre-right New Democracy party in order for the country to come out of the political crisis that had been created due to the numerous scandals of the government of Andreas Papandreou and helped to establish a large coalition between conservatives, socialists and leftists. In 1990 he was elected to the parliament (as in 1964 and 1981), became a government minister under Constantine Mitsotakis, and fought against drugs and terrorism and for culture, education and better relations between Greece and Turkey. He continues to speak out in favor of left-liberal causes, Greek-Turkish-Cypriot relations, and against the War in Iraq. He has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was a key voice against the Greek junta 1967-1974, which imprisoned him. Mikis Theodorakis was born on the Greek
    7.80
    5 votes
    15
    Eric Idle

    Eric Idle

    • Plays Composed: Spamalot
    Eric Idle (born 29 March 1943) is an English comedian, actor, author, singer, writer and comedic composer. Idle was a member of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python, a member of the Rutles on Saturday Night Live, and the author of the Broadway musical Spamalot. Idle was born in South Shields, County Durham in Harton village. His mother, Nora Barron (née Sanderson), was a health visitor, and his father, Ernest Idle, served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, only to be killed in a hitch-hiking accident shortly after the war. His mother had difficulty coping with a full-time job and bringing up a child, so when Idle was seven, she enrolled him into the Royal Wolverhampton School as a boarder. At this time the school was a charitable foundation dedicated to the education and maintenance of children who had lost one or both parents. Idle is quoted as saying: "It was a physically abusive, bullying, harsh environment for a kid to grow up in. I got used to dealing with groups of boys and getting on with life in unpleasant circumstances and being smart and funny and subversive at the expense of authority. Perfect training for Python." Idle stated that the two things that
    8.75
    4 votes
    16
    Paul McCartney

    Paul McCartney

    • Plays Composed: Beatlemania
    Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, and his collaboration with Lennon is one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. After the group's break-up, he pursued a solo career, forming the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and singer-songwriter Denny Laine. Guinness World Records described McCartney as the "most successful composer and recording artist of all time", with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, and as the "most successful songwriter" in United Kingdom chart history. More than 2,200 artists have covered his Beatles song "Yesterday", more than any other song in history. Wings' 1977 release "Mull of Kintyre", is one of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK. McCartney has written or co-written 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2012 he has sold over 15.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. McCartney has released an extensive catalogue of songs as a solo artist and has composed
    8.75
    4 votes
    17

    Ralph Blane

    • Plays Composed: Meet Me in St. Louis
    Ralph Blane (July 26, 1914 – November 13, 1995) was an American composer, lyricist, and performer. Born Ralph Uriah Hunsecker in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Blane was the son of grocery store owners. He attended Tulsa Central High School. He began his career as a radio singer for NBC in the 1930s before turning to Broadway, where he was featured in New Faces of 1936, Hooray for What!, and Louisiana Purchase. He contributed the lyrics and music to Best Foot Forward (1941) and Three Wishes for Jamie (1952). With partner Hugh Martin, Blane penned many American standards for the stage and MGM musicals. The team's best-known songs include "The Boy Next Door", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song", all written for the 1944 film musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Facing the challenge of writing a song about a trolley, the duo visited a public library, and in a book they found the caption "Clang, clang, clang went the trolley", which formed the nucleus for the lyric of their song, which earned them their first Oscar nomination (their second was for "Pass That Peace Pipe", written in collaboration with Roger Edens for the 1947 film adaptation of Good News). Meet Me in St.
    7.40
    5 votes
    18

    Carolyn Leigh

    Carolyn Leigh (August 21, 1926 – November 19, 1983) was an American lyricist for Broadway, movies, and popular songs. She is best known as the writer with partner Cy Coleman of the pop standards "Witchcraft" and "The Best Is Yet to Come." With Johnny Richards she wrote the million-seller "Young at Heart" for the film of the same name, starring Frank Sinatra. Leigh, born in the Bronx, New York, graduated from Hunter College High School, Queens College and New York University, and worked as a copy writer for radio stations and advertising agencies. Her lyrics for Broadway shows include Peter Pan, Wildcat, Little Me, and How Now, Dow Jones. The last was derived from an original idea of Leigh's, though Max Shulman wrote the script. At the time of her death, she was working with Marvin Hamlisch on the musical Smile. She provided lyrics for the scores to the films The Cardinal in 1963 and Father Goose in 1964. Leigh died on November 19, 1983 of a heart attack. She was divorced from David Cunningham, Jr. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985.
    8.50
    4 votes
    19

    Frederic Loewe

    • Plays Composed: My Fair Lady
    Frederick Loewe (/ˈloʊ/, originally German Friedrich (Fritz) Löwe [ˈløːvə]; June 10, 1901 – February 14, 1988), was an Austrian-American composer. He collaborated with lyricist Alan Jay Lerner on the long-running Broadway musicals My Fair Lady and Camelot, with book and lyrics by Lerner, both of which were made into films. Loewe was born in Berlin, Germany, to Viennese parents Edmond and Rosa Loewe. His father was a noted Jewish operetta star who performed throughout Europe and in North and South America; he starred as Count Danilo in the 1906 Berlin production of The Merry Widow. Frederick Loewe grew up in Berlin and attended a Prussian cadet school from the age of five until he was thirteen. At an early age Loewe learned to play piano by ear and helped his father rehearse, and he began composing songs at age seven. He eventually attended a music conservatory in Berlin, one year behind virtuoso Claudio Arrau, and studied with Ferruccio Busoni and Eugene d'Albert. He won the coveted Hollander Medal awarded by the school and gave performances as a concert pianist while still in Germany. At 13, he was the youngest piano soloist ever to appear with the Berlin Philharmonic. In 1924,
    8.50
    4 votes
    20
    André Previn

    André Previn

    • Plays Composed: Coco
    André George Previn, KBE (born Andreas Ludwig Priwin; April 6, 1929) is a German-American pianist, conductor, and composer. He is considered one of the most versatile musicians in the world and is the winner of four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings (and one more for his Lifetime Achievement). Previn was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Charlotte (née Epstein) and Jack Previn, who was a lawyer, judge, and music teacher. He is said to be "a distant relative of" the composer Gustav Mahler. However, In a pre-concert public interview at the Lincoln Center, in May 2012, Previn laughed at the suggestion that he is related to Mahler. The year of his birth is uncertain. Whilst most published reports give 1929, Previn himself has stated that 1930 is his birth year. This situation is a consequence of his the family losing Previn's birth certificate when they left Germany in 1938. His elder brother was director Steve Previn. The Previn family, which was Jewish, emigrated to the United States in 1939 to escape the Nazi regime in Germany. In 1939, his family moved to Los Angeles, where his great-uncle, Charles Previn, was music director of Universal
    5.57
    7 votes
    21
    Dave Brubeck

    Dave Brubeck

    • Plays Composed: The Real Ambassadors
    David Warren "Dave" Brubeck (born December 6, 1920) is an American jazz pianist. He has written a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranges from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mother's attempts at classical training and his improvisational skills. His music is known for employing unusual time signatures, and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities. His long-time musical partner, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, wrote the Dave Brubeck Quartet's best remembered piece, "Take Five", which is in 5/4 time and has endured as a jazz classic on one of the top-selling jazz albums, Time Out. Brubeck experimented with time signatures throughout his career, recording "Pick Up Sticks" in 6/4, "Unsquare Dance" in 7/4, and "Blue Rondo à la Turk" in 9/8. He is also a respected composer of orchestral and sacred music, and wrote soundtracks for television such as Mr. Broadway and the animated mini-series This Is America, Charlie Brown. Brubeck was born in Concord, California and grew up in Ione. He is of English (maternal), Swiss and possibly Native American Modoc Tribe multi-ethnic (paternal) ancestry His father, Howard
    9.67
    3 votes
    22
    David A. Stewart

    David A. Stewart

    • Plays Composed: GHOST The Musical
    David Allan Stewart (born 9 September 1952), often known as Dave Stewart, is an English musician, songwriter and record producer, best known for his work with Eurythmics. He is usually credited as David A. Stewart, to avoid confusion with other musicians named "Dave Stewart". Stewart was born in Sunderland, England. In 1971, whilst still in his teens, Dave Stewart secured a record deal as part of folk-rock band Longdancer. Despite being signed to Elton John's record label, Rocket Records, they did not achieve commercial success. He also collaborated with Brian Harrison to produce an EP on the Sunderland Multicord label (label number MULT-SH-1, producer Ken McKenzie), recording two songs (Girl and Green She Said) from a school musical production written by teacher Dick Bradshaw, one traditional number (A Blacksmith Courted Me) and a song written by Dave and Brian (Deep December). A promotional pic at the time shows Dave as a small, longhaired, broad-smiling and slightly spotty teenager—unrecognisable as the man he grew into. After leaving Wearside Stewart then spent several years living in squats in London. In late 1976, he was introduced to Annie Lennox by a mutual friend. Soon,
    9.67
    3 votes
    23

    Eric Carmen

    • Plays Composed: Footloose
    Eric Howard Carmen (born August 11, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist. He scored numerous hit songs across the 1970s and 1980s, first as a member of the Raspberries (who had a million-selling single with "Go All The Way"), and then with his solo career, including hits such as "All By Myself", "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again", "She Did It", "Hungry Eyes", and "Make Me Lose Control". From a Jewish family, Eric Carmen was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Lyndhurst, Ohio. He has been involved with music since early childhood. By the age of two, he was entertaining his parents, Ruth and Elmer Carmen, with impressions of Tony Bennett and Johnnie Ray. By age three, he was in the Dalcroze Eurhythmics program at the Cleveland Institute of Music. At six years old, he took violin lessons from Muriel Carmen (his aunt), then a violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra. By age 11, he was playing piano and dreaming about writing his own songs. The arrival of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones altered his dream slightly. By the time he was a sophomore at Charles F. Brush High School, Eric Carmen was playing piano and singing in rock 'n' roll bands. Though
    7.20
    5 votes
    24
    Arthur Schwartz

    Arthur Schwartz

    • Plays Composed: The Gay Life
    Arthur Schwartz (November 25, 1900 – September 3, 1984) was an American composer and film producer. Schwartz supported his legal studies at New York University and postgraduate studies at Columbia University by playing piano before concentrating his talents on vaudeville, Broadway theatre and Hollywood. Among his Broadway musicals are The Band Wagon, The Gay Life, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Jennie, and By the Beautiful Sea. His films include the MGM musical The Band Wagon with lyricist Howard Dietz. Schwartz worked for Columbia Pictures as a producer, his work including the 1944 musical Cover Girl. In 1972, Schwartz was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 1981 into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. His son Jonathan is a popular radio personality and sometime musician. His son Paul Schwartz is a composer, conductor, pianist and producer.
    8.25
    4 votes
    25
    Oscar Hammerstein II

    Oscar Hammerstein II

    • Plays Composed: Flower Drum Song
    Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II ( /ˈhæmərstaɪn/; July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and (usually uncredited) theatre director of musicals for almost forty years. Hammerstein won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Many of his songs are standard repertoire for singers and jazz musicians. He co-wrote 850 songs. Hammerstein was the lyricist and playwright in his partnerships; his collaborators wrote the music. Hammerstein collaborated with composers Jerome Kern, Vincent Youmans, Rudolf Friml and Sigmund Romberg; but his most famous collaboration, by far, was with Richard Rodgers. Hammerstein was born Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein in New York City, the son of Alice (née Nimmo) and William Hammerstein. His grandfather was German-born Jewish theater impresario Oscar Hammerstein I, and his mother was the daughter of Scottish and English parents. Hammerstein was raised an Episcopalian. Although Hammerstein's father managed the Victoria Theatre for his father and was a producer of vaudeville shows (he is generally credited with inventing the "pie-in-the-face" routine), he was opposed to his son's
    8.25
    4 votes
    26

    Andrew Lippa

    • Plays Composed: The Addams Family
    Andrew Lippa (December 22, 1964) is an American composer, lyricist, book writer, performer, and producer. He is a resident artist at the Ars Nova Theater in New York City. Lippa was born in Leeds, England. to English parents. He emigrated to the US in October, 1967 and grew up in Oak Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He attended Oak Park High School in Oak Park, Michigan. While at Michigan, Lippa studied vocal performance but eventually transferred into music education and received his bachelor’s degree in music education. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Lippa moved to New York City in 1987 and became a middle school music teacher at Columbia Grammar and Prep School (CGPS) on the Upper West Side. He was promoted his second year at (CGPS) to dean of 7th and 8th grade students – an assistant principal position – and held that post, in addition to teaching music, until June 1991. In 1988 Lippa was accepted into the celebrated BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop as a composer. There he met his future collaborator Tom Greenwald (John & Jen) He later pursued a music career. Lippa began his professional theatrical career at the Goodspeed Opera House in East
    7.00
    5 votes
    27

    Clark Gesner

    • Plays Composed: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
    Clark Gesner (born March 27, 1938, in Augusta, Maine, died July 23, 2002, in downtown New York City) was an American composer, songwriter, author, and actor. He is probably best known for composing You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a musical adaptation of the Charles M. Schulz comic strip Peanuts. None of his other musicals (most notably The Utter Glory of Morrissey Hall in 1979) had been able to match the success of ...Charlie Brown, though he had small success in regional productions (mostly Animal Fair in 1990). Gesner's song "Happiness" became a hit standard in the 1960s, being recorded by various artists. The latter was also recorded in a smooth jazz version by David Benoit in May 2000, shortly after Charles M. Schulz' death, on an album entitled Here's to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years. The album made it to #2 on the Top Jazz Albums chart. Born and raised in Augusta, Maine, and later moving to Brooklyn, New York, Gesner was born to H. Mortimer Gesner Jr., and Eleanor Clark Gesner. He attended high school in Plainfield, New Jersey where he wrote and performed in theatre productions. Gesner attended Princeton University and was a member of the Triangle Club, the
    7.00
    5 votes
    28
    Lionel Monckton

    Lionel Monckton

    • Plays Composed: The Cingalee
    Lionel John Alexander Monckton (18 December 1861 – 15 February 1924) was an English writer and composer of musical theatre. He was Britain's most popular musical theatre composer of the early years of the 20th century. Monckton was born in London, the eldest son of the Town Clerk of London, Sir John Braddick Monckton, and Lady Monckton, the former Maria Louisa Long (1837–1920), an "enthusiastic amateur actress". His sister was Mrs Augusta Moore, who wrote popular novels as Martin J. Pritchard. He was educated at Charterhouse School and Oriel College at Oxford University, graduating in 1885. There he acted in college theatrical productions and composed music for productions of the Oxford University Dramatic Society, of which he was a founder, and the Phil-Thespian Club. He initially joined the legal profession at Lincoln's Inn and began to practise law, but gained part-time work as a song writer and a theatre and music critic, first for the Pall Mall Gazette and later for the Daily Telegraph. His first theatre work was Mummies and Marriage, an operetta produced by amateurs in 1888. At the age of 29, in 1891, he finally managed to place the song "What will you have to Drink?", with
    7.00
    5 votes
    29
    Kenny Loggins

    Kenny Loggins

    • Plays Composed: Footloose
    Kenneth Clark "Kenny" Loggins (born January 7, 1948) is an American singer and songwriter. He is known for soft rock music beginning during the 1970s, and later for writing and performing for movie soundtracks in the 1980s. Originally a part of the duo Loggins and Messina, he became a solo artist and has written songs for other artists. Loggins (born in Everett, Washington) is the youngest of three brothers. His mother was Lina (Massie), a homemaker, and his father, Robert George Loggins, was a salesman. They lived in Detroit and Seattle before settling in Alhambra, California. Loggins attended San Gabriel Mission High School, graduating in 1966. He formed a band called the Second Helping, that released three singles during 1968 and 1969 on Viva Records. Greg Shaw described the efforts as "excellent punky folk-pop records" that were written by Loggins who was likely to be the bandleader and singer as well; Shaw included "Let Me In" on both Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 2 and the Pebbles, Volume 9 CD. Loggins had a short gig playing guitar for the "The New Improved" Electric Prunes in 1969 before writing four songs for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which were included in their
    8.00
    4 votes
    30
    Cy Coleman

    Cy Coleman

    • Plays Composed: City of Angels
    Cy Coleman (June 14, 1929 - November 18, 2004) was an American composer, songwriter, and jazz pianist. He was born Seymour Kaufman on June 14, 1929, in New York City to Eastern European Jewish parents, and was raised in the Bronx. His mother, Ida (née Prizent) was an apartment landlady and his father was a brickmason. He was a child prodigy who gave piano recitals at Steinway Hall, Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall between the ages of six and nine. Before beginning his fabled Broadway career, he led the Cy Coleman Trio, which made many recordings and was a much-in-demand club attraction. Despite the early classical and jazz success, he decided to build a career in popular music. His first collaborator was Joseph Allen McCarthy, but his most successful early partnership, albeit a turbulent one, was with Carolyn Leigh. The pair wrote many pop hits, including "Witchcraft" and "The Best Is Yet To Come." One of his instrumentals, "Playboy's Theme," became the signature music of the regular TV shows and specials presented by Playboy, and remains synonymous with the magazine and its creator, Hugh Hefner. Coleman's career as a Broadway composer began when he and Leigh collaborated on Wildcat
    6.80
    5 votes
    31
    David Javerbaum

    David Javerbaum

    • Plays Composed: Cry-Baby
    David Javerbaum is a 12-time Emmy-winning American comedy writer. Javerbaum was hired as a staff writer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 1999. He was promoted to head writer in 2002 and became an executive producer at the end of 2006. His work for the program won 11 Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, two Peabody Awards and Television Critics Association Awards for both Best Comedy and Best News Show. He was also one of the three principal authors of the show's textbook parody America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, which sold 2.6 million copies and won the 2005 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He became a consulting producer at the start of 2009 and spent the next 18 months spearheading the writing of that book's sequel, Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, which was released in September 2010; his co-production of its audiobook earned the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Spoken-Word Album. He left the show in July 2010. He is the author of The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, which was released on November 1, 2011 and is affiliated with the Twitter account @TheTweetOfGod. It is his second book as sole author; the first was the pregnancy satire What
    6.80
    5 votes
    32
    George Whitefield Chadwick

    George Whitefield Chadwick

    • Plays Composed: Everywoman
    George Whitefield Chadwick (November 13, 1854 – April 4, 1931) was an American composer. Along with Horatio Parker, Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, and Edward MacDowell, he was a representative composer of what can be called the New England School of American composers of the late 19th century—the generation before Charles Ives. Chadwick's works are influenced by the Realist movement in the arts, characterized by a down-to-earth depiction of people's lives. Many consider his music to portray a distinctively American style. His works included several operas, three symphonies, five string quartets, tone poems, incidental music, songs and choral anthems. Along with a group of other composers collectively known as the Boston Six, Chadwick was one of those responsible for the first significant body of concert music by composers from the United States. The other five were Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker. Born in a rural part of Lowell, Massachusetts, Chadwick received some early musical training from organ lessons given by his older brother, Fitz Henry. He developed an independent, self-reliant character early in his life. Dropping out of high
    6.60
    5 votes
    33

    Claude-Michel Schönberg

    • Plays Composed: The Pirate Queen
    Claude-Michel Schönberg (born 6 July 1944 Vannes, France) is a French record producer, actor, singer, songwriter, and musical theatre composer, best known for his collaborations with the lyricist Alain Boublil. These include the musicals: Schönberg began his career as a record producer and a singer. He wrote most of the music for the French musical and rock opera, La Révolution Française, France's first rock opera, in 1973, and also played the role of King Louis XVI in the show's production that year. In 1974, he wrote the music and the lyrics of the song "Le Premier Pas", which became the number one hit in France that year and sold over one million copies. Le Premier Pas was produced by Franck Pourcel. Schönberg then made an album in which he sang his own pieces. In 1978, he dedicated his full attention to musicals when he and Boublil conceived the idea for a stage musical version of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, which opened at the Palais de Sports in Paris in 1980. The musical opened to acclaim in London in 1985 and on Broadway in 1987. The Broadway production was nominated for twelve Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. In 1989, Schönberg
    7.50
    4 votes
    34
    Noble Sissle

    Noble Sissle

    • Plays Composed: Shuffle Along
    Noble Sissle (July 10, 1889 – December 17, 1975) was an American jazz composer, lyricist, bandleader, singer and playwright. Noble Lee Sissle was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on the 10th of July, 1889, around the time his father, the Rev George A. Sissle, was pastor of the city’s Simpson M. E. Chapel. His mother, Martha Angeline (née Scott) Sissle, was a school teacher and juvenile probation officer. As a youth Sissle sang in church choirs and as a soloist with his high school's glee club in Cleveland, Ohio. Sissle attended De Pauw University in Greencastle, Indiana on scholarship and later transferred to Butler University in Indianapolis before turning to music full-time. On October 1, 1918, Sissle joined the New York 369th Infantry Regiment at New York City where he helped Lieutenant James Reese Europe form the 369th Regimental Band. Sissle played violin and also served as drum major for the 369th that, under Europe as bandmaster, is now considered amongst the greatest jazz bands of all time. Sissle sang several vocals on the last album recorded by the band that was released in March 1919. He left the army after the war as a second lieutenant with the 370th Infantry Regiment and
    7.50
    4 votes
    35
    Paul Simon

    Paul Simon

    • Plays Composed: The Capeman
    Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an award-winning musician whose talents in composing, performing, and vocal harmony placed him at the forefront of the singer-songwriters on an international scale. Simon's fame, influence and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity, and Simon began a successful solo career, recording three highly acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music. Simon also wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony (1980) and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman (1998) with the poet Derek Walcott. Simon has earned 12 Grammys for his solo and collaborative work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006 was selected as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World" by Time magazine. Among many
    7.50
    4 votes
    36

    Jeanine Tesori

    • Plays Composed: Violet
    Jeanine Tesori (born 1961, originally Jeanine Levenson) is an American musical arranger and composer who won the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play for Nicholas Hytner's production of Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center and the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music for Caroline, or Change. Tesori made her Broadway debut when she arranged the dance music for the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In 1997 she composed the score for the off-Broadway musical Violet, which won her an Obie Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and arranged the music for the Johnny Mercer revue Dream, a task she repeated with the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music and the 1999 revue Swing! She also served as associate conductor for the Broadway productions of The Secret Garden and The Who's Tommy. In 2000, Tesori joined forces with lyricist Dick Scanlan to write eleven new songs for a stage adaptation of Thoroughly Modern Millie. A successful run at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego prompted a transfer to Broadway in 2002, and Tesori was nominated for the Tony Award for
    8.67
    3 votes
    37
    Jerry Herman

    Jerry Herman

    • Plays Composed: La Cage aux Folles
    Jerry Herman (born July 10, 1931) is an American composer and lyricist, known for his work in Broadway musical theater. He composed the scores for the hit Broadway musicals Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. He has been nominated for the Tony Award five times, and won twice, for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. In 2009, Herman received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. He is a recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors. Raised in Jersey City, New Jersey by musically inclined parents, Herman learned to play piano at an early age, and the three frequently attended Broadway musicals. His father, Harry, was a gym teacher and in the summer worked in the Catskill Mountains hotels. His mother, Ruth, also worked in the hotels as a singer, pianist, and children's teacher, and eventually became an English teacher. After marrying, they lived in Jersey City and continued to work in the summers in various camps until they became head counselors and finally ran Stissing Lake Camp in the Berkshire Mountains. Herman spent all of his summers there, from age 6 to 23. It was at camp that he first became involved in theatrical productions, as director of
    8.67
    3 votes
    38

    Mark Charlap

    • Plays Composed: Peter Pan
    Mark "Moose" Charlap (December 19, 1928 – July 8, 1974) was a Jewish-American Broadway composer. Born Morris Isaac Charlip in Philadelphia, he was best known for "Peter Pan" (1954), for which Carolyn Leigh wrote the lyrics. The idea to do the show came from Jerome Robbins, who planned to have a few songs by Charlap and Leigh. However, the show evolved into a full blown musical, with additional songs by Jule Styne and Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It starred Mary Martin as Peter Pan and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook. Moose Charlap is also listed as the composer for the movie musical "Hans Brinker" (lyrics by Alvin Cooperman), which starred Eleanor Parker (her singing voice was that of Charlap's wife, Sandy Stewart), Richard Basehart, John Gregson, Robin Askwith, Roberta Torey, Sheila Whitmill, and Cyril Ritchard. It was based on the novel by Mary Mapes Dodge. Charlap was married to singer Sandy Stewart, whose biggest hit was My Coloring Book in 1962. They had one son--Bill Charlap, a well-known jazz pianist. Charlap had a daughter Anne Charlap and son Tom Charlap, a bass player, from a previous marriage.
    8.67
    3 votes
    39

    Neil Innes

    • Plays Composed: Spamalot
    Neil James Innes (born 9 December 1944) is an English writer and performer of comic songs, best known for his collaborative work with Monty Python, and for playing in the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and later The Rutles. Innes was born in Danbury, Essex. He spent much of his childhood with his parents and older brother Iain in post-war Germany during his Scottish father's military assignment as a warrant officer. He took piano lessons from age 7 to 14 and taught himself to play guitar. Neil's parents were supportive of their sons' interests. His father showed some artistic ability as he frequently drew and painted. He later attended Thorpe Grammar School and the Norwich School of Art. Because Norwich lacked a particular art curriculum in which he was interested, he transferred to Goldsmiths' College, where he met Yvonne Catherine Hilton, majoring in drama, and they married on 3 March 1966. They have three sons, Miles (b. 1967), Luke (b. 1971), and Barney (b. 1977). They have two grandchildren. Innes graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Goldsmiths' in 1966. During the period of 1962 to 1965, Innes and several other art school students started a band which was originally
    8.67
    3 votes
    40
    Martie Maguire

    Martie Maguire

    • Plays Composed: Urban Cowboy
    Martie Maguire (born Martha Elenor Erwin; October 12, 1969) is an American songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and a founding member of the female alternative country band, the Dixie Chicks. She won awards in national fiddle championships while still a teenager. Maguire is accomplished on several other instruments, including the mandolin, viola, acoustic bass, and guitar. She has written and co-written a number of the band's songs, some of which have become chart-topping hits. She also contributes her skills in vocal harmony and backing vocals, as well as orchestrating string arrangements for the band. Maguire learned several instruments at a young age, honing her skills with her younger sister, Emily Robison (born Emily Erwin) and two schoolmates (a brother and sister team, Troy and Sharon Gilchrist) for over five years as a part of a high school touring bluegrass quartet. After graduation, the sisters forged an alliance with two other women they had met through the Dallas music scene, Laura Lynch and Robin Lynn Macy, forming a bluegrass and country music band, busking and touring the bluegrass festival circuits for six years. After the departure of Macy, and the replacement of
    5.50
    6 votes
    41
    Harry Tierney

    Harry Tierney

    • Plays Composed: Kid Boots
    Harry Austin Tierney (May 21, 1890 – March 22, 1965) was a successful American composer of musical theatre, best known for long-running hits such as Irene (1919), Broadway's longest-running show of the era (620 performances), Kid Boots (1923) and Rio Rita (1927), one of the first musicals to be turned into a talking picture (and later remade starring Abbott and Costello). Born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, he was most active between about 1910 and 1930, often collaborating with the lyricist Joseph McCarthy. His mother was a pianist, his father a trumpeter, and he himself toured as a concert pianist in his early years. After a brief spell working in London for a music publisher, he returned to the United States in 1916. Over the next couple of decades many of his songs were used in the famous Ziegfeld Follies, and were performed by the premier singers of the day, such as Eddie Cantor, Anna Held and Edith Day. The year 1919 saw his greatest Broadway hit, the show Irene, which contained perhaps his most well-known song, "Alice Blue Gown", as well as "Castle of Dreams," an adaptation of Chopin's Minute Waltz. This same show was made into a film in 1926, then remade in 1940 with Anna
    7.25
    4 votes
    42
    Jay Kuo

    Jay Kuo

    • Plays Composed: Insignificant Others
    Lee Jay Kuo (born on March 28, 1968) is an American theatrical composer, lyricist and playwright.
    7.25
    4 votes
    43
    Branford Marsalis

    Branford Marsalis

    • Plays Composed: Fences
    Branford Marsalis, DMus (born August 26, 1960) is an American saxophonist, composer and bandleader. While primarily known for his work in jazz as the leader of the Branford Marsalis Quartet, he also performs frequently as a soloist with classical ensembles and has led the group Buckshot LeFonque. Marsalis was born in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, the son of Dolores (née Ferdinand) and Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr., a pianist and music professor. His brothers Jason Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis III, and Delfeayo Marsalis, and father Ellis are also jazz musicians. In the summer of 1980, while still a Berklee College of Music student, Marsalis toured Europe playing alto and baritone saxophone in a large ensemble led by drummer Art Blakey. Other big band experience with Lionel Hampton and Clark Terry followed over the next year, and by the end of 1981 Marsalis, on alto saxophone, had joined his brother Wynton in Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Other performances with his brother, including a 1981 Japanese tour with Herbie Hancock, led to the formation of his brother Wynton’s first quintet, where Marsalis shifted his emphasis to soprano and tenor saxophones. He continued to work with
    8.33
    3 votes
    44

    Douglas J. Cuomo

    • Plays Composed: Anna Christie
    Douglas J. Cuomo (born February 13, 1958) is an American composer. Born in Tucson, Arizona, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and Amherst, Massachusetts, Douglas J. Cuomo began playing the trumpet in grade school and switched to guitar at the age of 12. While still in high school he studied with jazz greats Max Roach and Archie Shepp at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He began his professional musical career at the age of 18, touring the country with a Las Vegas show band. He alternated years of college with years on the road as a guitarist, studying jazz, world music and ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Miami (Coral Gables) with a degree in jazz performance. Cuomo’s first work to garner significant public notice was Atomic Opera, which was performed at the Ohio Theatre in downtown New York City. The New York Times wrote that Cuomo's "elegiac and eerie" score "blends electronically treated classical fragments and vintage kitsch, suggests the breaking down and reconstitution of matter into something ominous and uncontrollable." After Atomic Opera, he scored fifteen productions for the
    8.33
    3 votes
    45
    Hans Zimmer

    Hans Zimmer

    • Plays Composed: The Lion King
    Hans Florian Zimmer (German pronunciation: [hans ˈfloːʁi̯aːn ˈtsɪmɐ]; born 12 September 1957) is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including award winning film scores for The Lion King (1994), Crimson Tide (1995), Gladiator (2000), The Last Samurai (2003), The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010). Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios and works with other composers through the company which he founded, Remote Control Productions. Zimmer's works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. He has received four Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, a Classical BRIT Award, and an Academy Award. He was also named on the list of Top 100 Living Geniuses, published by The Daily Telegraph. Zimmer was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. As a young child, he lived in Königstein-Falkenstein, where he played the piano at home, but had piano lessons only briefly as he disliked the discipline of formal lessons. He moved to London as a teenager, where he attended Hurtwood
    8.33
    3 votes
    46
    John Lennon

    John Lennon

    • Plays Composed: Lennon
    John Ono Lennon, MBE, born John Winston Lennon (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Together with Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved as a teenager in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960. As the group disintegrated towards the end of the decade, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine". After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to raising his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release. Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and
    8.33
    3 votes
    47

    Mark Mancina

    • Plays Composed: The Lion King
    Mark Alan Mancina (born March 9, 1957 in Santa Monica, California) is a U.S. composer, primarily for Hollywood soundtracks, such as his collaboration with Trevor Rabin on the soundtrack for Con Air. He arranged many of the songs behind Disney's The Lion King (while Hans Zimmer wrote the orchestral score with Lebo M for the African chants) including the Broadway musical. He also notably composed the score for the thriller Twister (1996) as well as the blockbuster action films Speed (1994) and Bad Boys (1995). Trained as a classical guitarist, he is an avid guitar player and rare instrument collector. Mancina collaborated with John Van Tongeren to write the theme to the 1995 revival of The Outer Limits. They both scored ten episodes for the first season of the show. He also collaborated with Phil Collins on two feature animated films for Disney, Tarzan and Brother Bear. Mancina has also been associated with a number of progressive rock projects. He toured with Rabin in support of Trevor Rabin's Can't Look Away album and then went on to produce tracks on the Yes album Union. He has also worked with Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He is known to be influenced by The Beatles, favoring their
    8.33
    3 votes
    48

    Sylvester Levay

    • Plays Composed: Rebecca
    Sylvester Levay (originally Lévay Szilveszter, Serbian: Силвестер Леваи, Silvester Levai) is a Hungarian composer. He was born 16 May 1945 in Subotica in the North Bačka District of Vojvodina, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), his name in English is pronounced similarly to "Lave-ah-ee (like slave)." Sylvester Levay began his musical studies at the age of eight. Levay developed a taste for American music while growing up in Yugoslavia, eventually becoming a music arranger and lyricist. Upon his arrival in Munich in 1972, he met his writing partner, Michael Kunze, with whom he has created many successful theatrical works. From 1980 to 2000 he lived in Hollywood and concentrated on composing film music. He currently divides his time between homes in Munich, Vienna and Los Angeles. Married for twenty-five years, he and his wife Monika have a daughter, Alice, and a son, Sylvester Jr. At the age of fifteen, Sylvester won his first composition competition. In Munich he worked with Udo Jürgens and Katja Ebstein. Between 1977 and 1980 he composed and produced for Elton John, Silver Convention, and others. From 1980 on, he worked with various Hollywood greats, including Michael Douglas, Charlie
    8.33
    3 votes
    49
    Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber

    • Plays Composed: Aspects of Love
    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber Kt. (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honours, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" and "You Must Love Me" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and "Memory" from Cats. His company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London. Producers in several
    6.20
    5 votes
    50

    Damon Intrabartolo

    • Plays Composed: Bare, a Pop Opera
    Damon Intrabartolo (born 1975) is an American composer, orchestrator and conductor. He attended the University of Southern California and departed before graduation to work with John Ottman on The Usual Suspects. Damon has collaborated with Ottman for 13 years orchestrating and conducting films such as: Intrabartolo also orchestrated and conducted In Good Company (2004), American Dreamz (2006) and the acclaimed "Dreamgirls" (2006) underscore with Hedwig and the Angry Inch composer Stephen Trask. He composed the musical Bare, a Pop Opera; his company God Help! Productions also produced the world premiere in Los Angeles. He composed and produced the musical Ann E. Wrecksick and the Odyssey of the Bulimic Orphans. Both shows played in Los Angeles and New York City. He composed the musical Plop which workshopped in Los Angeles. He lives in Los Angeles, California. He appears on a 2001 documentary featuring six gay men attending the Burning Man festival, called On The Bus.
    6.20
    5 votes
    51
    Lorenzo Ferrero

    Lorenzo Ferrero

    • Plays Composed: La cena delle beffe
    Lorenzo Ferrero (born 1951) is a contemporary Italian composer with a predilection for opera, a librettist, author, and book editor. He started composing at an early age and wrote over a hundred compositions thus far, including twelve operas, three ballets, and numerous orchestral, chamber music, solo instrumental, and vocal works. His musical idiom is characterized by eclecticism, stylistic versatility, and a neo-tonal language. Born in Turin, he was initially self-taught, then studied composition from 1969 to 1973 with Massimo Bruni and Enore Zaffiri at Turin Music Conservatory, and philosophy with Gianni Vattimo and Massimo Mila at the University of Turin, earning a degree in aesthetics with a thesis on John Cage in 1974. His early interest in the psychology of perception and psychoacoustics led him to IMEB, the International Electroacoustic Music Institute of Bourges, France where he did research on electronic music between 1972 and 1973, IRCAM in Paris, and to the Musik/Dia/Licht/Film Galerie in Munich, Germany in 1974. Lorenzo Ferrero has received commissions from numerous festivals and institutions, his works being constantly performed throughout Europe and North America,
    9.50
    2 votes
    52

    Luther Henderson

    • Plays Composed: Jelly's Last Jam
    Luther Henderson (March 14, 1919 – July 29, 2003) was an African American arranger, composer, orchestrator, and pianist. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he was educated at the Juilliard School of Music where he received a B.S. in 1942. Among the more than fifty Broadway musicals where he served as orchestrator and/or arranger and/or musical director and/or composer for are Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, Flower Drum Song, Funny Girl, No, No Nanette, Purlie Victorious, Ain't Misbehavin' and Jelly's Last Jam. He was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award. In 1992, Henderson won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Score for Jelly's Last Jam. Although Jelly's Last Jam focused on the life of Jelly Roll Morton, Morton's music was not a prominent feature of the musical. With the exception of a couple of Morton's compositions, Henderson composed the entire original score of this musical with lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. In 1997 Henderson was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Orchestrations for Play On! Of his earlier works, he composed the orchestrations for the dance numbers for the original Broadway productions of
    9.50
    2 votes
    53

    Mbongeni Ngema

    • Plays Composed: Sarafina!
    Mbongeni Ngema (born 10 May 1955) is a South African writer, lyricist, composer and director, born in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal (near Durban). He started his career as a theatre backing guitarist. He is married to actress Leleti Khumalo. Leleti who received a 1988 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for Sarafina!; as well as starring as the leading role in South Africa's first Oscar-nominated film/move, Yesterday. He co-wrote the multi-award winning Woza Albert!. In some sectors of South African society, Ngema is considered a racist because of his controversial song, AmaNdiya (about racism that Blacks in KwaZulu-Natal have suffered at the hands of Indians). It was banned in the country soon after it was released in 2002, and even Nelson Mandela had asked Ngema to apologize but Ngema refused. Mbongeni Ngema has participated in a song called Take this song, recorded in featuring with the Reggae band Third World.
    9.50
    2 votes
    54
    Bob Telson

    Bob Telson

    • Plays Composed: Chronicle of a Death Foretold
    Robert "Bob" Eria Telson (born May 14, 1949) is an American composer, songwriter, and pianist best known for his work in musical theater and film, for which he has received Tony, Pulitzer, and Academy Award nominations. He is currently living and working in Argentina. Robert Eria Telson was born in Cannes, France, in 1949. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, son of Paula (née Blackman) and David Telson. He began studying piano when he was five years old. By nine had already performed a Mozart piece on television and given a concert of his own compositions. At 14, he wrote 72 love songs for his first girlfriend, Margie. At 15 and 16 he studied organ, counterpoint and harmony in France with the teacher Nadia Boulanger. He followed this with a degree in music from Harvard University in 1970. Telson also played organ and composed original songs for a rock band called The Bristols while he was a high school student at Poly Prep in Brooklyn, New York. Several of these were recorded at Decca studios but never released. At Harvard, he formed another group called Groundspeed, which brought him back to the Decca studios in 1967 to record a demo recording of his songs "L-12 East" and "In a
    7.00
    4 votes
    55

    Richard Myers

    • Plays Composed: Mr. Cinders
    Richard Myers (1901–1977) was a songwriter. Together with Jack Lawrence he wrote "Hold My Hand," which was nominated for the 1954 Academy Award for Best Song.
    7.00
    4 votes
    56

    John Foulds

    • Plays Composed: Saint Joan
    John Herbert Foulds (/foʊldz/; 2 November 1880 – 25 April 1939) was a British composer of classical music. Largely self-taught as a composer, he was one of the most remarkable and unjustly forgotten figures of the "British Musical Renaissance". A successful composer of light music and theatre scores, his principal creative energies went into more ambitious and exploratory works that were particularly influenced by Indian music. Suffering a setback after the decline in popularity of his World Requiem (1919–1921), he left London for Paris in 1927, and eventually travelled to India in 1935 where, among other things, he collected folk music, composed pieces for traditional Indian instrument ensembles, and worked for a radio station. Foulds was an adventurous figure of great innate musicality and superb technical skill. Among his best works are Three Mantras for orchestra and wordless chorus (1919–1930), Essays in the Modes for piano (1920–1927), the piano concerto Dynamic Triptych (1927–1929), and his ninth string quartet Quartetto Intimo (1931–1932). John Foulds was born in Hulme, Manchester, England, on 2 November 1880, the son of a bassoonist in the Hallé Orchestra. Prolific from
    6.00
    5 votes
    57

    Elliot Goldenthal

    • Plays Composed: Juan Darien
    Elliot Goldenthal (born May 2, 1954) is an American composer of contemporary classical music. He was a student of Aaron Copland and John Corigliano, and is best known for his distinctive style and ability to blend various musical styles and techniques in original and inventive ways. He is also a film-music composer, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2002 for his score to the motion picture Frida, directed by his long-time partner Julie Taymor. Goldenthal was born on May 2, 1954, as the youngest son of a Jewish housepainter father and a Catholic seamstress mother in Brooklyn, New York City, where he was influenced from an early age by music from all cultures and genres. Both pairs of Goldenthal's grandparents emigrated to the United States from Bucharest and Iași, Romania. Goldenthal lived in a multi-cultural part of town, and this is reflected in his works. He attended John Dewey High School in Brooklyn where, at the age of 14, he had his very first ballet Variations on Early Glimpses performed; he continued to display his eclectic musical range, performing with rock bands in the seventies. He then studied music full time at the prestigious Manhattan School of
    8.00
    3 votes
    58

    Gary William Friedman

    • Plays Composed: Platinum
    Gary William Friedman is an American musician and composer. He completed his undergraduate work at Brooklyn College, and did advanced training in electronic music at Columbia University. His music spans the worlds of theater, television, jazz, classical and film. He is the composer of the Obie-Award winning, Tony-nominated musical The Me Nobody Knows. Other Broadway / Off-Broadway credits include Platinum, Taking My Turn (presented on PBS as part of its Great Performances series), Sheba, and The Last Supper. His orchestral and liturgical works have been commissioned and performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Lancaster Music Festival. He served as music director for the fourth season of TV’s The Electric Company, for which he wrote 40 songs, including the popular "Spider-Man Theme Song". He has produced and arranged several critically acclaimed pop/jazz CDs of his wife's, the singer-lyricist Stevie Holland. 2008 marked the debut of his first classical recording release COLLOQUY.
    8.00
    3 votes
    59
    Yuliy Kim

    Yuliy Kim

    • Plays Composed: The Count Of Monte Cristo
    Yuliy Chersanovich Kim (Юлий Черсанович Ким; born December 23, 1936) is one of Russia's foremost bards and playwrights. His most famous works, encompassing everything from mild humor to biting political satire, include songs for movies such as Bumbarash, The Twelve Chairs, and An Ordinary Miracle, as well as the songs "The Brave Captain," "The Black Sea," "The Whale-Fish," "Cursed Lips," "Captain Bering," and "Baron Germont Went to War." Since 1998, he has been living in Israel and has made periodic tours through Russia, Europe, and the United States. Kim was born in 1936 in Moscow to Kim Chersan, a journalist of Korean origin, and Nina Valentinovna Vsesvyatskaya, a teacher of Russian language and literature. His parents were victims of the Great Purge of 1937 and 1938, in which his father was executed and his mother was sentenced as a "family member of a traitor of the Motherland" to five years in a labor camp and three years of exile, so that Kim didn't see her until age 9. She was rehabilitated during the Khrushchev Thaw period in 1958, but before that, she was under the "101st kilometer" law and could not live in Moscow, so Kim's family settled in Maloyaroslavets, Kaluga
    5.17
    6 votes
    60
    Brian Wilson

    Brian Wilson

    • Plays Composed: Good Vibrations
    Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, best known as the leader and chief songwriter of the group The Beach Boys. On stage, Wilson provided many of the lead vocals, and often harmonized with the group in falsetto. Early during his on-stage career, Wilson primarily played bass guitar on stage, but gradually transitioned to primarily playing piano/keyboards. Besides being the primary composer in The Beach Boys, he also functioned as the band's main producer and arranger. After signing with Capitol Records in mid-1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits including "Surfin' Safari", "Surfin' USA", "Shut Down", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "In My Room", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "Dance Dance Dance", "Help Me Rhonda", "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations". In the mid-1960s, Wilson used his increasingly creative ambitions to compose and produce Pet Sounds, considered one of the greatest albums of all time. The intended follow up to Pet Sounds, SMiLE, was cancelled for various reasons, including Wilson's deteriorating mental health. Wilson's contributions to The Beach Boys diminished and his erratic behavior led
    6.75
    4 votes
    61
    David Bryan

    David Bryan

    • Plays Composed: Memphis
    David Bryan Rashbaum (born February 7, 1962), known as David Bryan, is the keyboard player of the rock band classic, Bon Jovi. He is also the writer of the successful Broadway musical Memphis. Bryan was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and raised in Edison, New Jersey. His father, Eddie Rashbaum, played the trumpet. Bryan was raised Jewish. He attended elementary school at Clara Barton, where he played many instruments including violin, viola, trumpet and clarinet. Also attended Herbert Hoover Middle School, then J. P. Stevens High School, from which he graduated. Bryan began to learn piano at age seven, and played keyboards for a band called Transition with bass player Steve Sileo. He studied with Emery Hack, a professor at Juilliard, for thirteen years. Bryan was accepted into Rutgers University, but dropped out to attend Juilliard, a school devoted to the performing arts in New York City. In October 1984, Bon Jovi supported the group Kiss at the Queens Hall in Leeds. With the help of their new manager Doc McGhee, the band's debut album, Bon Jovi, was released on January 21, 1984. The album went gold in the US (sales of over 500,000). In 1985, Bon Jovi's second album
    6.75
    4 votes
    62

    Mack David

    • Plays Composed: Baby It's You!
    Mack David (July 5, 1912 – December 30, 1993) was an American lyricist and songwriter, best known for his work in film and television, with a career spanning from the early 1940s through the early 1970s. Mack was credited with writing lyrics and/or music for over one thousand songs. He was particularly well known for his work on the Disney films Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, and for the mostly-English lyrics through which Édith Piaf's signature song "La Vie en rose" gained much of its familiarity among native speakers of English. Mack David was the elder brother of American lyricist and songwriter, Hal David. Mack David died in 1993 in his Rancho Mirage, California home and his remains are buried at the Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Mack David was born to a Jewish family in New York City, New York, on July 5, 1912. David originally planned to become an attorney and attended Cornell University and St. John's University Law School. Despite these original goals, in the mid-1940s, David began writing songs for New York's Tin Pan Alley. These initial successes prompted David to move to Hollywood, California, to work in the film and television
    6.75
    4 votes
    63
    Mike Dirnt

    Mike Dirnt

    • Plays Composed: American Idiot
    Michael Ryan Pritchard (born May 4, 1972) is an American musician, best known as the bassist, backing vocalist and co-founder of the American rock band Green Day. He has also played in several other bands, including The Frustrators. During grade school, he would constantly play "air-bass", and while pretending to pluck the strings, he made the noise, "dirnt, dirnt, dirnt". As a result, his schoolmates began to call him "Mike Dirnt". Dirnt was born on May 4, 1972 in Oakland, California, and his biological mother, who struggled with heroin addiction, gave him up for adoption. At six weeks old, Dirnt was placed with foster parents Cheryl Nasser and Patrick Pritchard, who lived in El Sobrante. As a child, his father was often away obtaining a degree at UC Berkeley, while his mother stayed at home to care for Dirnt and his sister Mycla. Dirnt excelled in school despite missing classes often as a result of various illnesses believed to be caused by his biological mother's drug use. After an argument between the two resulted in a call to the police, his adoptive parents divorced and his mother and sister moved to Rodeo, while he stayed in El Sobrante with his father. However, he missed
    6.75
    4 votes
    64

    Charles Cuvillier

    • Plays Composed: Afgar
    Charles Cuvillier (24 April 1877 – 14 February 1955) was a French composer of operetta. He won his greatest successes with the operettas La reine s'amuse (1912; played as The Naughty Princess in London) and with The Lilac Domino, which became a hit in 1918 in London. Cuvillier was born in Paris, and studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Gabriel Fauré and Jules Massenet. He began writing for the Paris musical stage and had a success with Avant-hier matin (1905), a small scale work with piano accompaniment. Later stage works to achieve success in France and abroad included Son p'tit frère (1907), his first collaboration with André Barde, and La reine s'amuse (1912). The latter (also known as La reine joyeuse) featured Cuvillier's biggest hit, "Ah! la troublante volupté". Before the First World War he made a career in Germany as well as France. The second of his two works written for German theatres, Flora Bella, was playing in Munich and had its run immediately brought to a stop when war was declared. Cuvillier fought in the trenches against Germany during the war, and thereafter made his career in France and the U.K. Cuvillier was popular in England after the First World War.
    9.00
    2 votes
    65
    Lionel Bart

    Lionel Bart

    • Plays Composed: Oliver!
    Lionel Bart (1 August 1930 – 3 April 1999) was a writer and composer of British pop music and musicals, best known for creating the book, music and lyrics for Oliver! Bart was born Lionel Begleiter the youngest of seven surviving children in East London to Galician Jews, and grew up in Stepney. His father worked as a tailor in a garden shed in London E1. The family had escaped the deadly pogroms against Jews by Ukrainian cossacks in Galicia, which was then part of the Austrian Empire. The sole survivor of the seven children is Lionel's sister Renee Gold. Lionel changed his name to Bart, derived from when he passed by St. Barts' hospital on the top deck of a bus after he had completed his National Service with the Royal Air Force. A more likely derivation of Bart is from the silk-screen company Lionel founded with John Gorman, G and B Arts. As a young man he was an accomplished painter. At the age of six a teacher told his parents that he was a musical genius. His parents gave him an old violin, but he did not apply himself and the lessons stopped. At the age of 14 he obtained a Junior Art Scholarship to St Martin's School of Art. One Friday afternoon, he was suspended for
    9.00
    2 votes
    66

    Richard Adler

    • Plays Composed: The Pajama Game
    Richard Adler (August 3, 1921 – June 21, 2012) was an American lyricist, composer and producer of several Broadway shows. Adler was born in New York City, the son of Elsa Adrienne (née Richard) and Clarence Adler. His mother was a "debutante" from Mobile, Alabama. Adler had a musical upbringing, his father being a concert pianist. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. After his Navy service he began his career as a lyricist, teaming up with Jerry Ross in 1950. As a duo they worked in tandem, both taking credit for lyrics and music. After establishing their partnership, Adler and Ross quickly became protégés of composer/lyricist/publisher Frank Loesser. Their first notable composition was the song Rags to Riches, which was recorded by Tony Bennett and reached number 1 on the charts in late 1953. At the same time Bennett's recording was topping the charts, Adler and Ross began their career in the Broadway Theater with John Murray Anderson's Almanac, a revue for which they provided most of the songs. Adler and Ross's second Broadway effort, The Pajama Game, opened in May 1954 and was a popular as
    9.00
    2 votes
    67
    Giuseppe Verdi

    Giuseppe Verdi

    • Plays Composed: Master Class
    Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Italian pronunciation: [d͡ʒuˈzɛppe ˈverdi]; 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. Some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture – such as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. Verdi was born the son of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto, then in the Département Taro which was a part of the First French Empire after the annexation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. The baptismal register, on 11 October lists him as being "born yesterday", but since days were often considered to begin at sunset, this could have meant either 9 or 10 October. The next day, he was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin as Joseph Fortuninus Franciscus. The day after that (Tuesday), Verdi's father took his newborn the three miles to Busseto, where the baby was recorded as Joseph Fortunin François; the clerk wrote in French. "So it happened that for the civil and temporal world Verdi was born a
    5.80
    5 votes
    68
    Cliff Richard

    Cliff Richard

    • Plays Composed: Heathcliff Live
    Sir Cliff Richard, OBE (14 October 1940, Lucknow, India) born as Harry Rodger Webb is a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor, and philanthropist. He is the third biggest selling singles artist of all time in the United Kingdom, with total sales of over 21 million in the UK and has reportedly sold an estimated 250 million records worldwide. With his backing group The Shadows, Richard, originally positioned as a rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Little Richard and Elvis Presley, dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period of the late 1950s and early 1960s. His 1958 hit single "Move It" is often described as Britain's first authentic rock and roll song, and John Lennon once claimed that "before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music." Increased focus on his Christian faith and subsequent softening of his music later led to a more middle of the road pop image, sometimes venturing into gospel music. Over a 54-year career, Richard has become a fixture of the British entertainment world, amassing many gold and platinum discs and awards, including three Brit awards and two Ivor Novello awards. He
    7.67
    3 votes
    69
    Cole Porter

    Cole Porter

    • Plays Composed: Anything Goes
    Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike most successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote both the lyrics and the music for his songs. After a serious horseback riding accident in 1937, Porter was left disabled and in constant pain, but he continued to work. His shows of the early 1940s did not contain the lasting hits of his best work of the 1920s and 30s, but in 1948 he made a triumphant comeback with his most successful musical, Kiss Me, Kate. It won the first Tony Award for best musical. Porter's other musicals include Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady, Anything Goes and Can-Can. His numerous hit songs include "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!" and "I've Got You Under My Skin", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "You're the Top". He also composed scores for
    7.67
    3 votes
    70

    David Shire

    • Plays Composed: Starting Here, Starting Now
    David Lee Shire (born July 3, 1937) is an American songwriter and the composer of stage musicals, film and television scores. The soundtrack to the 1974 movie The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and parts of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack such as "Night on Disco Mountain", an adaptation of Modest Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, are some of his best known works. His other work includes the score of the 1985 film, Return to Oz, the "sequel-in-part" of The Wizard of Oz. Shire is married to actress Didi Conn. Shire was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Esther Miriam (née Sheinberg) and Buffalo society band leader and piano teacher Irving Daniel Shire. He met his long-time theater collaborator lyricist/director Richard Maltby, Jr. at Yale University, where they wrote two musicals, Cyrano and Grand Tour, which were produced by the Yale Dramatic Association. Shire also co-fronted a jazz group at school, the Shire-Fogg Quintet, and was a Phi Beta Kappa honors student, with a double major in English and music. He was a member of the Pundits and Elihu and he graduated magna cum laude in 1959. After a semester of graduate work at Brandeis University (where he was the first Eddie
    7.67
    3 votes
    71

    John Du Prez

    • Plays Composed: Spamalot
    John Du Prez (born Trevor Jones; 14 December 1946 in Sheffield, England) is a musician, conductor, and composer. Du Prez was a member of the 1980s multi-hit Salsa-driven pop band Modern Romance and has since written several film scores including Oxford Blues (1984) and the final Carry On film, Carry On Columbus (1992). He contributed to The Wild (2006) soundtrack. Du Prez originally hails from Sheffield, England. He received his MA (Oxon), B.Mus., ARCM, and was a Trevelyan Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford. In 1976 he joined the staff of the London University's Music Department before becoming a full-time composer. He would then begin a 30-year working relationship with Eric Idle. Du Prez has often worked with Eric Idle for the music for Monty Python, most notably the score for Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and A Fish Called Wanda. He acted as music arranger on the Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones films Monty Python's The Life of Brian (1979) and Time Bandits (1981), the latter starring Sean Connery, and he also co-wrote the music for the stage musical Spamalot, as well as the music and the intro theme of the British series Captain Star. In 1986 Du Prez contributed songs to the
    7.67
    3 votes
    72
    Joseph Rumshinsky

    Joseph Rumshinsky

    • Plays Composed: Those Were the Days
    Joseph Rumshinsky (1881–1956), Jewish composer born near Vilna in Lithuania (then part of Russian Poland). Rumshinsky - with Sholom Secunda, Alexander Olshanetsky, and Abraham Ellstein - is considered one of the "big four" of American Yiddish theater. His mother taught singing to local singers and badkhonim (wedding entertainers). Rumshinsky was sent as a child to study with a chazn. At the age of eight he was called "Yoshke der notn-freser" (a fresser is somebody who gobbles voraciously) at the music school where he studied piano. He traveled until 1894 with various Hazzans. It was in Grodne that he first saw Yiddish theater (Abraham Goldfaden's operetta Shulamis); he then joined the chorus of Kaminska's traveling troup until his voice changed in 1896, at which point he became choir director for a chazn named Rabinovitch. His first composition was a piano waltz which became very popular in Vilna, where it was published. In 1897 he became choir director for Borisov's Russian opera/operetta; in 1888 he conducted a full production of Goldfaden's Bar Kokhba. In 1899, in Lódz, he was hired as conductor of the new Hazomir Choral Society, studying and arranging folksongs as well as
    7.67
    3 votes
    73
    Louis Jordan

    Louis Jordan

    • Plays Composed: Five Guys Named Moe
    Louis Thomas Jordan (July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975) was a pioneering American jazz, blues and rhythm & blues musician, songwriter and bandleader who enjoyed his greatest popularity from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as "The King of the Jukebox", he was highly popular with both black and white audiences in the later years of the swing era. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him no. 59 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Jordan was one of the most successful African-American musicians of the 20th century, ranking fifth in the list of the all-time most successful black recording artists according to Billboard magazine's chart methodology. Though comprehensive sales figures are not available, he scored at least four million-selling hits during his career. Jordan regularly topped the R&B "race" charts, and was one of the first black recording artists to achieve a significant "crossover" in popularity into the mainstream (predominantly white) American audience, scoring simultaneous Top Ten hits on the white pop charts on several occasions. After Duke Ellington and Count Basie, Louis Jordan was probably the most popular and successful African-American
    7.67
    3 votes
    74

    Stephen Flaherty

    • Plays Composed: Seussical
    Stephen Flaherty (born September 18, 1960) is an American composer of musical theatre. He works most often in collaboration with the lyricist/bookwriter Lynn Ahrens. They are best known for writing the Broadway musicals Once on This Island, which was nominated for eight Tony Awards, Seussical , which was nominated for the Grammy Award and Ragtime, which was nominated for twelve Tony Awards and won Best Original Score. Flaherty was also nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards with Lynn Ahrens for his songs and song score for the animated film musical Anastasia. Flaherty was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He began studying piano at the age of seven. When he was twelve he knew he wanted to write musicals and by age fourteen he had already composed his first musical score. He attended South Hills Catholic High School in Pittsburgh and later studied musical composition and piano at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, graduating in 1982. He did additional graduate studies in Musical Theater at New York University. As a college student, Flaherty played ragtime piano in a dance band. This early job would serve Flaherty well later in life when he
    7.67
    3 votes
    75
    Adam Schlesinger

    Adam Schlesinger

    • Plays Composed: Cry-Baby
    Adam Schlesinger is an American songwriter, composer and record producer. He has won Emmy and Grammy Awards, and has also been nominated for Oscar, Tony, and Golden Globe Awards. He is also a winner of the ASCAP Pop Music Award. He is the bassist for the bands Fountains of Wayne, Ivy and Tinted Windows. He is an owner of Scratchie Records and Stratosphere Sound, a recording studio in New York City. Schlesinger grew up in Manhattan and Montclair, New Jersey. Schlesinger was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for writing the title track of the Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do! as well as two other songs for the film. Fountains of Wayne was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2003 for Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Stacy's Mom". Schlesinger and David Javerbaum were nominated for a 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score for his music for the musical Cry-Baby. Schlesinger and Javerbaum received a 2012 Emmy award for Oustanding Music And Lyrics for their song "It's Not Just For Gays Anymore", performed by Neil Patrick Harris as the opening number of the Tony Awards telecast. They also received a 2009 Emmy
    10.00
    1 votes
    76
    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    • Plays Composed: 33 Variations
    Ludwig van Beethoven (/ˈlʊdvɪɡ væn ˈbeɪt.hoʊvən/; German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːt.hoːfən] ( listen); baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 concertos for piano, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets. He also composed other chamber music, choral works (including the celebrated Missa Solemnis), and songs. Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and Christian Gottlob Neefe. During his first 22 years in Bonn, Beethoven intended to study with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and befriended Joseph Haydn. Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 and began studying with Haydn, quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. During the late 18th century, his hearing began to deteriorate significantly, yet he continued to compose, conduct, and perform after
    10.00
    1 votes
    77

    Maury Yeston

    • Plays Composed: Phantom
    Maury Yeston (born October 23, 1945) is an American composer, lyricist, educator and musicologist. He is known for writing the music and lyrics to Broadway musicals, including Nine in 1982, and Titanic in 1997, both of which won Tony Awards for best musical and best score. He also won a Drama Desk Award for Nine. Yeston also wrote a significant amount of the music and most of the lyrics to the Tony-nominated musical Grand Hotel in 1989, which was nominated for best score. His musical version of the novel The Phantom of the Opera called Phantom (not to be confused with Andrew Lloyd Webber's version) has enjoyed numerous productions in the U.S. and around the world. He has also written a number of other Off-Broadway musicals, a song cycle, a Cello Concerto, and other pieces. Yeston serves on the Board of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also President of the Kleban Foundation, serves on the editorial boards of Musical Quarterly and the Kurt Weill Foundation Publication Project and on the advisory board of the Yale University Press Broadway Series. He was the Director of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in New York City for two decades beginning in 1982. Yeston was
    10.00
    1 votes
    78
    Ondřej Soukup

    Ondřej Soukup

    • Plays Composed: Johanka z Arku
    Ondřej Soukup (born 2 May 1951) is a Czech music composer. He has written soundtracks for twenty feature films, including Jan Svěrák's Kolya, an Academy Award winner for best foreign film in 1997, and Dark Blue World, for which Soukup received his second Czech Lion award for best soundtrack in 2001. Ondřej was also a jury member for the talent show Česko Hledá SuperStar.
    10.00
    1 votes
    79

    Robert Lopez

    • Plays Composed: Avenue Q
    Robert Lopez (born February 23, 1975) is an American composer and lyricist of musicals, best known for co-creating The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q, receiving Tony Awards for both works. A native of the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village, Robert Lopez became interested in songwriting from an early age (he wrote his first song at 7.) He attended Hunter College High School and received a B.A. in English from Yale University, where he was a member of the Yale Spizzwinks(?). In 1998, while participating in the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, he met another aspiring songwriter, Jeff Marx. Their first project together, Kermit, Prince of Denmark, a Muppet parody of Hamlet, won the Kleban Award for lyrics, though The Jim Henson Company rejected the script, saying it did not have enough "kid appeal." The story was considered for the next Muppet film by Chris Curtin in 2004, until Chris left the Disney Company. Highlights from the unproduced musical were performed by Rick Lyon, Rebecca Jones, and Susan Blackwell at the BMI Workshop. In 1999, Lopez and Marx, who collaborate on both music and lyrics, began work on Avenue Q, a stage musical which, using puppet
    10.00
    1 votes
    80
    Trey Parker

    Trey Parker

    • Plays Composed: The Book of Mormon
    Trey Parker (born Randolph Severn Parker III; October 19, 1969) is an American actor, voice artist, animator, screenwriter, director, producer and musician, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Matt Stone. Parker started his film career in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. His first success came from Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short titled Jesus vs. Santa, which led him and college friend Stone to create South Park, which began airing on television in 1997. He has won four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for both "Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour" and "Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour". He co-wrote and co-directed the 2011 multi-Tony Award winning musical The Book of Mormon. Parker was born in Denver, Colorado, the son of Randy (a geologist) and Sharon (an insurance broker). The two share the first names and occupations of South Park characters Randy and Sharon Marsh. He has an older sister named Shelley, which is also the name of Stan Marsh's older sister. In the sixth grade, Parker wrote a sketch titled The Dentist and appeared in his
    10.00
    1 votes
    81
    Vernon Duke

    Vernon Duke

    • Plays Composed: Two's Company
    Vernon Duke (10 October [O.S. 27 September] 1903 – January 16, 1969) was a Russian-American composer/songwriter, who also wrote under his original name Vladimir Dukelsky. He is best known for "Taking a Chance on Love" with lyrics by Ted Fetter and John Latouche, "I Can't Get Started" with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, "April in Paris" with lyrics by E. Y. ("Yip") Harburg (1932), and "What Is There To Say" for the Ziegfeld Follies of 1934, also with Harburg. He wrote the words and music for "Autumn in New York" (1934). Vernon collaborated with lyricists such as Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash and Sammy Cahn and his works have been performed and recorded by Count Basie, Bunny Berigan, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, the Modern Jazz Quartet, André Previn, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, and many others. Vladimir Aleksandrovich Dukelsky (Russian: Владимир Александрович Дукельский) was born in 1903 into a noble family of mixed Georgian-Austrian-Spanish-Russian descent, in Parafianovo, Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire. The 1954 Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians referred to "one of his grandparents" (Princess
    10.00
    1 votes
    82
    William P. Perry

    William P. Perry

    • Plays Composed: Wind in the Willows
    William P. Perry is an American composer and television producer. Born in Elmira, New York in 1930, he attended Harvard University and studied with Paul Hindemith, Walter Piston, and Randall Thompson. His music has been performed by the Chicago Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Detroit Symphony and the symphonic orchestras of Minnesota, Montreal, Calgary and Hartford as well as the Vienna Symphony, the Rome Philharmonic, the Slovak Philharmonic, the RTÉ National Symphony of Ireland and other orchestras in Europe. For twelve years, Perry was the music director and composer-in-residence at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he composed and performed as a pianist more than two hundred scores for the Museum's silent film collection. His subsequent PBS television series, "The Silent Years" (1971,1975) hosted by Orson Welles and Lillian Gish, won an Emmy Award. Perry is often credited with having played a major role in the revival of interest in classic silent films. For three years (1976–1978) he produced a national poetry series for PBS called "Anyone for Tennyson?", starring Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Claire Bloom, William Shatner and Vincent Price among others. Fifty
    10.00
    1 votes
    83
    Gustave Kerker

    Gustave Kerker

    • Plays Composed: The Belle of New York
    Gustave Adolph Kerker (February 28, 1857 – June 29, 1923) was a German composer and conductor who made a career in London and America. He became a musical director for Broadway theatre productions and wrote the music for a series of musicals. Kerker was born in Herford, Germany and began to study the cello at the age of seven. His family emigrated to the United States in 1867, settling in Louisville, Kentucky. Kerker played in pit orchestras at local theatres and then began to conduct. His early operetta, Cadets, toured the South in 1879. Kerker then moved to New York City, where he was engaged as the principal conductor at the Casino Theatre. There, he began to add his own songs into the scores of foreign operettas, notably Charles Lecocq's The Pearl of Pekin, since these works had no effective copyright in the U.S. Kerker's first complete operetta in New York was Castles in the Air in 1890. He wrote over twenty shows, the most successful of which were the London musical burlesque Little Christopher Columbus (1893), and the international musical hit The Belle of New York (1897). Other notable musicals included An American Beauty (1896), The Girl from Up There (1901), Winsome
    6.50
    4 votes
    84
    Harold Arlen

    Harold Arlen

    • Plays Composed: Jamaica
    Harold Arlen (February 15, 1905 – April 23, 1986) was an American composer of popular music, having written over 500 songs, a number of which have become known the world over. In addition to composing the songs for The Wizard of Oz, including the classic 1938 song, "Over the Rainbow,” Arlen is a highly regarded contributor to the Great American Songbook. "Over the Rainbow" was voted the twentieth century's No. 1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Arlen was born Hyman Arluck, in Buffalo, New York, the child of a Jewish cantor. His twin brother died the next day. He learned the piano as a youth and formed a band as a young man. He achieved some local success as a pianist and singer and moved to New York City in his early 20s. He worked as an accompanist in vaudeville. At this point, he changed his name to Harold Arlen. Between 1926 and about 1934, Arlen appeared occasionally as a band vocalist on records by The Buffalodians, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti, Leo Reisman and Eddie Duchin, usually singing his own compositions. In 1929, Arlen composed his first well-known song: "Get Happy" (with lyrics by Ted Koehler).
    6.50
    4 votes
    85

    Harvey Schmidt

    • Plays Composed: The Fantasticks
    Harvey Lester Schmidt (born September 12, 1929) is an American composer for musical theatre. He is best known for composing the music for the longest running musical in history, The Fantasticks, which ran off-Broadway from 1960 - 2002. Schmidt was born in Dallas, Texas. He attended the University of Texas to study art, but when he met Tom Jones at the University he started to accompany the drama students on the piano. They soon started writing musicals together, the first being a revue. However, after serving in the Army, Schmidt moved to New York and worked as a graphic artist for NBC Television and later as an illustrator for Life, Harper's Bazaar, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune. All of Schmidt's major musicals were written with lyricist Tom Jones. The work the duo is known for is the musical The Fantasticks which ran off-Broadway from 1960 - 2002 for a total of 17,162 performances. He also collaborated on the 1995 feature film adaptation. In 1992 he received the Tony Award, Tony Honor for "The Fantasticks," then in its 33rd year. The team followed with the Broadway musical 110 in the Shade in 1963, which ran for 330 performances on Broadway and earned a Tony Award nomination
    6.50
    4 votes
    86
    John Mellencamp

    John Mellencamp

    • Plays Composed: Ghost Brothers of Darkland County
    John Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951) is an American rock singer-songwriter, musician, painter and occasional actor known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock which emphasizes traditional instrumentation. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States. In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number-one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven, and has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one. His latest album, No Better Than This, was released on August 17, 2010 to widespread critical acclaim. Mellencamp is also one of the founding members of Farm Aid, an organization that began in 1985 with a concert in Champaign, Illinois to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. The Farm Aid concerts have remained an annual event over the past 27 years, and as of 2012 the organization has raised over $40 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008 by Billy Joel. His biggest musical influences are Bob Dylan,
    6.50
    4 votes
    87
    Dolly Parton

    Dolly Parton

    • Plays Composed: 9 to 5
    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress, and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music. She has composed over 3,000 songs, the best known of which include "I Will Always Love You" (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper for Parton, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), "Jolene", "Coat of Many Colors", "9 to 5", and "My Tennessee Mountain Home". As an actress, she starred in the movies 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias, Gnomeo & Juliet, Straight Talk, Unlikely Angel, and Joyful Noise. She is one of the most successful female country artists of all time; with an estimated 100 million in album sales, Dolly Parton is also one of the best selling artists of all time. She is known as "The Queen of Country Music". She was born in Sevierville, Tennessee, the fourth of twelve children of Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and his wife Avie Lee (Owens). She has described her family as "dirt poor". She outlined her family's poverty in her early songs "Coat of Many Colors" and "In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)". They lived in a rustic, one-room
    8.50
    2 votes
    88
    Erik Satie

    Erik Satie

    • Plays Composed: Le Piège de Méduse
    Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (pronounced: [eʁik sati]) (17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925; signed his name Erik Satie after 1884) was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd. An eccentric, Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds") preferring this designation to that of a "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911. In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American culture chronicle Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published
    8.50
    2 votes
    89
    Peter Allen

    Peter Allen

    • Plays Composed: The Boy from Oz
    Peter Allen (10 February 1944 – 18 June 1992) was an Australian songwriter and entertainer. His songs were made popular by many recording artists, including Elkie Brooks, Melissa Manchester and Olivia Newton-John, with one, "Arthur's Theme", winning an Academy Award in 1981. In addition to recording many albums, he enjoyed a cabaret and concert career, including appearing at Radio City Music Hall riding a camel. His marriage to Liza Minnelli ended in divorce, and culminated his heterosexual guise. He subsequently proclaimed his homosexuality and publicly entered a relationship with Gregory Connell that lasted until Connell's death, 15 years later. Peter Allen was born Peter Richard Woolnough in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia. He was the grandson of George Woolnough, whom Allen immortalised in his song "Tenterfield Saddler". Allen began his performing career with Chris Bell as one of the "Allen Brothers", who were a popular cabaret and television act in the early 1960s in Australia. Mark Herron, the husband of Judy Garland, discovered Allen while he was performing in Hong Kong. He was invited to return with them to London and the United States, where he performed with
    8.50
    2 votes
    90
    Harold Fraser-Simson

    Harold Fraser-Simson

    • Plays Composed: Toad of Toad Hall
    Harold Fraser-Simson (15 August 1872 – 19 January 1944), was an English composer of light music, including songs and the scores to musical comedies. His most famous musical was the World War I hit, The Maid of the Mountains, and he later set numerous children's poems to music, especially those of A. A. Milne. Fraser-Simson was born in London, the second child and eldest son of an East Indies merchant, Arthur Theodore Simson and his wife, Jane Anne Catherine née Fraser, of Reelig, Scotland. He was educated at Charterhouse School, then at Dulwich College, then at King's College, London and in France. As a young man he joined a ship-owning firm in London before turning to music as a full-time occupation in his early forties. Fraser-Simson published his first song, "My Sweet Sweeting", in 1907. His first theatre score was for the 1911 musical Bonita, with a libretto by Walter Wadham Peacock, which played at Queen's Theatre. Fraser-Simson's biggest success was the score for the operetta The Maid of the Mountains, which played at Daly's Theatre in London in 1917 and finally closed after 1,352 performances. This was, at the time, a phenomenal run second only to that of Chu Chin Chow.
    7.33
    3 votes
    91
    Hugh Masekela

    Hugh Masekela

    • Plays Composed: Sarafina!
    Hugh Ramopolo Masekela (born April 4, 1939) is a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer. He is the father of American television host Sal Masekela. Masekela was born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa. He began singing and playing piano as a child. At age 14, after seeing the film Young Man With a Horn (in which Kirk Douglas plays a character modeled after American jazz trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke), he took up playing the trumpet. His first trumpet was given to him by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the anti-apartheid chaplain at St. Peter's Secondary School. Huddleston asked the leader of the then Johannesburg "Native" Municipal Brass Band, Uncle Sauda, to teach Masekela the rudiments of trumpet playing. Masekela quickly mastered the instrument. Soon, some of his schoolmates also became interested in playing instruments, leading to the formation of the Huddleston Jazz Band, South Africa's first youth orchestra. By 1956, after leading other ensembles, Masekela joined Alfred Herbert's African Jazz Revue. Since 1954, Masekela has played music that closely reflects his life experience. The agony, conflict, and exploitation South Africa faced
    7.33
    3 votes
    92

    Jimmy Van Heusen

    • Plays Composed: Walking Happy
    Jimmy Van Heusen (January 26, 1913 - February 6, 1990), was an American composer. He wrote songs for films, television and theater, and won an Emmy and four Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Born Edward Chester Babcock in Syracuse, New York, he began writing music while at high school. He renamed himself at age 16, after the famous shirt makers, Phillips-Van Heusen, to use as his off-air name during local shows. His close friends called him "Chet." Studying at Cazenovia Seminary and Syracuse University, he became friends with Jerry Arlen, the younger brother of Harold Arlen. With the elder Arlen's help, Van Heusen wrote songs for the Cotton Club revue, including "Harlem Hospitality." He then became a staff pianist for some of the Tin Pan Alley publishers, and wrote "It's the Dreamer in Me" (1938) with lyrics by Jimmy Dorsey. Collaborating with lyricist Eddie DeLange, on songs such as "Heaven Can Wait", "So Help Me", and "Darn That Dream", his work became more prolific, writing over 60 songs in 1940 alone. It was in 1940 that he teamed up with the lyricist Johnny Burke. Burke and Van Heusen moved to Hollywood writing for stage musicals and films throughout the 1940s and early
    7.33
    3 votes
    93
    Ladysmith Black Mambazo

    Ladysmith Black Mambazo

    • Plays Composed: The Song of Jacob Zulu
    Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a male choral group from South Africa that sings in the vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube. They rose to worldwide prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland, and have won multiple awards, including three Grammy Awards. They were formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and later became one of South Africa's most prolific recording artists, with their releases receiving gold and platinum disc honors. The group has now become a mobile academy, teaching people about South Africa and its culture. Joseph Shabalala formed Ladysmith Black Mambazo because of a series of dreams he had in 1964, in which he heard certain isicathamiya harmonies (isicathamiya being the traditional music of the Zulu people). Following their local success at wedding ceremonies and other gatherings, Shabalala entered them into isicathamiya competitions. The group was described as 'so good' that they were eventually forbidden to enter the competitions, but welcomed to entertain at them. Although they had been recognised as an isicathamiya group in 1964, they had been singing together since the early 1950s. They released their first album, Amabutho, in 1973.
    7.33
    3 votes
    94
    Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Lin-Manuel Miranda

    • Plays Composed: In the Heights
    Lin-Manuel Miranda (born January 16, 1980) is an American composer, rapper, lyricist, and actor. He is most famous for writing and starring as Usnavi in the Broadway musical In the Heights, which opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2008 and for which he won the Tony Award as composer and lyricist. Miranda was born in northern Manhattan, New York City, New York. He grew up in the Inwood section of Manhattan and is of Puerto Rican descent. After graduating from Hunter College High School, Miranda went on to attend Wesleyan University and graduated in 2002. During this time, he co-founded a hip hop comedy troupe called Freestyle Love Supreme. He wrote the earliest draft of In the Heights in 1999, his sophomore year of college. After the show was accepted by Wesleyan's student theater company The Second Stage, Miranda worked on adding "freestyle rap ... bodegas, and salsa numbers." It played from 20 April to 22 April. Miranda wrote and directed several other musicals at Wesleyan. He also acted in many other productions, ranging from musicals to Shakespeare. In 2002, Miranda and Mailer worked with director Tommy Kail and wrote five separate drafts of In the Heights that
    7.33
    3 votes
    95
    Sebastian

    Sebastian

    • Plays Composed: Nightingale
    Knud Torben Christensen better known by his stage name Sebastian was born as on December 19, 1949. He is a Danish singer, guitarist and composer. Starting as a musician in the late 1960s he is still active and very popular. So far his career has spanned four decades. Having worked in the folk genre, he has become one of the most prominent pop/rock musicians in Denmark and has scored numerous films and plays. Since the 1990s he has primarily worked with Danish musicals, with great success. Works by Sebastian appear in these films: Works by Sebastian appear in these television series:
    7.33
    3 votes
    96

    Stephen Bray

    • Plays Composed: The Color Purple
    Stephen Bray is an American songwriter, drummer, and record producer from Detroit. Bray is best known for his collaboration with Madonna. Bray began studying music through private instruction in Detroit, and continued his education at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Bray owns and operates Saturn Sound recording studios and the Soultone Records record label. He is married to movie producer Stephanie Allain, who produced Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan. Bray met Madonna during her pre-stardom when she attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for dance. He moved to New York after receiving a call from Madonna years later, who at that time, was a member of the band The Breakfast Club in New York City. Madonna wanted to form a new band and invited Bray to play the drums. Together they formed the band Emmy and the Emmys. Madonna obtained her recording contract with Gotham Management, with Camille Barbone. The music she was producing with them was more rock oriented and Madonna had her eyes set on dance music. She and Stephen Bray continued working on a parallel project, more club oriented. After being signed to Sire Records, Madonna continued collaborating with
    7.33
    3 votes
    97
    Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger

    Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger

    • Plays Composed: The Masque of Blackness
    Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger (ca. 1575 – March 1628) was an English composer and viol player of Italian descent. He straddles the line between the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Ferrabosco was born at Greenwich, the illegitimate son of the Italian composer Alfonso Ferrabosco the elder. His mother might have been Susanna Symons, whom Alfonso the elder later married. Ferrabosco the younger was left under the guardianship of Gomer van Awsterwyke, a member of the Queen's court. Although Alfonso the elder asked for Alfonso the younger to be sent to him in Italy, where he had moved with his wife, the Queen insisted that he stay in England. Ferrabosco remained in Gomer van Awsterwyke's care until Awsterwyke's death in 1592. At this time he started a long career as a court musician, including as the private music tutor of Prince Henry. Ferrabosco collaborated with Ben Jonson on several projects, including The Masque of Blackness (1605), and wrote music for several other masques besides. His music was published by John Browne in 1609, including a number of settings of poems by John Donne and Thomas Campion, as well as lute and viol music. He frequently wrote in the new declamatory Baroque
    6.25
    4 votes
    98
    Billie Joe Armstrong

    Billie Joe Armstrong

    • Plays Composed: American Idiot
    Billie Joe Armstrong (born February 17, 1972) is an American rock musician and occasional actor, best known as the lead vocalist, main songwriter, and guitarist for the American punk rock band Green Day, which he co-founded with Mike Dirnt. He is also a guitarist and vocalist for the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day's side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network respectively. Raised in Rodeo, California, Armstrong developed an interest in music at a young age, and recorded his first song at the age of five. He met Mike Dirnt while attending elementary school, and the two instantly bonded over their mutual interest in music, forming the band Sweet Children when the two were 15 years old. The band changed its name to Green Day, and would later achieve massive commercial success. Armstrong has also pursued musical projects outside of Green Day's work, including numerous collaborations with other musicians as well as serving as the primary vocalist for the bands Pinhead Gunpowder, Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network. Billie Joe Armstrong was born in Piedmont, California, a small town surrounded by the city of Oakland, and was raised in Rodeo,
    6.25
    4 votes
    99
    Billy Joel

    Billy Joel

    • Plays Composed: Movin' Out
    William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man," in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to the RIAA. He also has the third best-selling album in the United States with his Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2. Joel had Top 40 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, achieving 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all of which he wrote himself. He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner, a 23-time Grammy nominee and has sold over 150 million records worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's 50th anniversary, with Billy Joel positioned at No. 23. With the exception of the 2007 songs "All My Life" and "Christmas in Fallujah," Joel stopped writing and recording pop/rock material after 1993's River of Dreams, but he continued to tour extensively until 2010. Joel was born in the
    6.25
    4 votes
    100
    Charlie Daniels

    Charlie Daniels

    • Plays Composed: Urban Cowboy
    Charles Edward "Charlie" Daniels (born on October 28, 1936) is an American musician known for his contributions to country and southern rock music. He is perhaps best known for his number one country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", and multiple other songs he has written and performed. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008. Daniels is a singer, guitarist, and fiddler, who began writing and performing in the 1950s. In 1964, Daniels co-wrote "It Hurts Me" (a song which Elvis Presley recorded) with Joy Byers. He worked as a Nashville session musician, often for producer Bob Johnston, including playing electric bass on three Bob Dylan albums during 1969 and 1970, and on recordings by Leonard Cohen. Daniels recorded his first solo album, Charlie Daniels, in 1971 (see 1971 in country music). He produced the 1969 album by The Youngbloods, Elephant Mountain and played the violin on "Darkness, Darkness". His first hit, the novelty song "Uneasy Rider", was from his 1973 second album, Honey in the Rock, and reached No.9 on the Billboard Hot 100. During this period, Daniels played fiddle on many of The
    6.25
    4 votes
    101
    Ervin Drake

    Ervin Drake

    • Plays Composed: What Makes Sammy Run?
    Ervin Drake, born Ervin Maurice Druckman (April 3, 1919) is an American songwriter whose works include such American Songbook standards as "It Was a Very Good Year". He has written in a variety of styles and his work has been recorded by musicians from all over the world in a multitude of styles. In 1983, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Born in New York City, New York Ervin Drake had his first song published at age 12, in 1931. The son of Max Druckman and Pearl Cohen, he attended Townsend Harris High School in the borough of The Bronx, New York, graduating in 1935, and went on to receive a bachelor of arts degree in social science from the City College of New York in 1940. His elder brother, Milton, also became a songwriter, with work including "The Java Jive" and "Nina Never Knew"; and his younger brother Arnold Drake, become a writer for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and others, as well as an author and playwright. Duke Ellington's recording of Perdido (music by Juan Tizol and lyrics by Ervin Drake) was a highlight in the young composer's career. Besides composing music and lyrics for dozens of pieces he was also a television producer and worked with performers
    6.25
    4 votes
    102

    Nacio Herb Brown

    • Plays Composed: Singin' in the Rain
    Nacio Herb Brown (February 22, 1896 – September 28, 1964) was an American writer of popular songs, movie scores, and Broadway theatre music in the 1920s through the early 1950s. Ignacio Herb Brown (some sources indicate his birth name was Ignacio Herbert Brown) was born in Deming, New Mexico. In 1901 his family moved to Los Angeles, where he attended Manual Arts High School. His music education started with instruction from his mother, Cora Alice (Hopkins) Brown. Brown first operated a tailoring business (1916), and then became a financially successful realtor, but he always wrote and played. After his first hit "Coral Sea" (1920) and first big hit, "When Buddha Smiles" (1921), he eventually became a full-time composer. He joined The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1927. In 1928 he was hired to work in Hollywood by MGM and write film scores for the new medium of sound film. For his film work, he often collaborated with lyricist Arthur Freed. This collaboration produced Singin' in the Rain. He appeared in the MGM variety film The Hollywood Revue of 1929. Brown also worked with Richard A. Whiting and Buddy De Sylva on Broadway Musicals such as Take a
    6.25
    4 votes
    103

    Alan Price

    • Plays Composed: Andy Capp
    Alan Price (born 19 April 1942, Fatfield, Washington, County Durham) is an English musician, best known as the original keyboardist for the English band The Animals and for his subsequent solo work. Price is a self-taught musician and was educated at Jarrow Grammar School, South Tyneside and was a founding member of the Tyneside group The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which was later renamed The Animals. His organ-playing on songs by The Animals, such as "House of the Rising Sun", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "Bring It On Home To Me" was a key element in the success of the group. After leaving the Animals, Price went on to have success on his own and with Georgie Fame. He introduced the songs of Randy Newman to a wider audience. Later, he appeared on his own television show, as well as achieving success with film scores including winning critical acclaim for his musical contribution to the 1973 film O Lucky Man!, and wrote the score to the stage musical Andy Capp. In addition, he has appeared as an actor in films and television productions. Price formed The Animals in 1962 and left the band in 1965 to form The Alan Price Set, with the line-up of Price, Clive Burrows
    7.00
    3 votes
    104
    Eubie Blake

    Eubie Blake

    • Plays Composed: Shuffle Along
    James Hubert Blake (February 7, 1887 – February 12, 1983) was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, Blake and long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote the Broadway musical Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans. Blake's compositions included such hits as, "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find A Way", "Memories of You", and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The musical Eubie! featured the works of Blake and opened on Broadway in 1978. Blake was born at 319 Forrest Street in Baltimore, Maryland to former slaves John Sumner Blake (1838–1917) and Emily "Emma" Johnstone (1861–1917). He was the only surviving child of eight, all the rest of whom died in infancy. In 1894 the family moved to 414 North Eden Street, and later to 1510 Jefferson Street. John Blake worked earning US$9.00 weekly as a stevedore on the Baltimore docks. In later years Blake claimed to have been born in 1883, but his Social Security application and all other official documents issued in the first half of his life list his year of birth as 1887. Many otherwise reliable sources mistakenly give his
    7.00
    3 votes
    105

    George Gershwin

    • Plays Composed: Of Thee I Sing
    George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris, as well as the opera Porgy and Bess. Born in Brooklyn to a Ukrainian father of Jewish descent and a Russian mother, Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark and Henry Cowell. He began his career as a song plugger, but soon thereafter started composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris in an attempt to study with Nadia Boulanger, where he began to compose An American in Paris. After returning to New York City, he wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and author DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, Porgy and Bess is now considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century. Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a brain tumor. Gershwin's compositions have been used in numerous films and on television, and
    7.00
    3 votes
    106
    Noël Coward

    Noël Coward

    • Plays Composed: Conversation Piece
    Sir Noël Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise". Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven. As a teenager he was introduced into the high society in which most of his plays would be set. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works. At the outbreak of World War II, Coward volunteered for
    7.00
    3 votes
    107

    Paul Chihara

    • Plays Composed: Shogun: The Musical
    Paul Seiko Chihara (born July 9, 1938) is an American composer. Chihara was born in Seattle, Washington in 1938. A Japanese American, he spent several years of his childhood with his family in an internment camp in Minidoka, Idaho. Chihara received a B.A. and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Washington and Cornell University, respectively. He received a D.M.A in 1965 from Cornell, studying with Robert Palmer. He also studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, Ernst Pepping in West Berlin, and Gunther Schuller in Tanglewood. He was the first composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Neville Marriner, and is currently on the music faculty of UCLA, where he is the head of the Visual Media Program. Chihara's prize-winning concert works, which include symphonies, concertos, chamber music, choral compositions, and ballets, have been performed to great acclaim both nationally and internationally. His works are concerned with the evolution and expression of highly contrasting colors, textures, and emotional levels, which are often dramatically juxtaposed with one another. His works have been commissioned by the Guggenheim
    7.00
    3 votes
    108
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    • Plays Composed: Swan Lake
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( /ˈpjɔːtər ˈɪliɪtʃ tʃaɪˈkɒfski/; Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский; tr. Pyotr Ilyich Chaykovsky; 7 May 1840 – 6 November 1893), anglicised as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( /ˈpiːtər .../), was a Russian composer whose works included symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, and chamber music. Some of these are among the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, which he bolstered with appearances as a guest conductor later in his career in Europe and the United States. One of these appearances was at the inaugural concert of Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1891. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Tsar Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension in the late 1880s. Although musically precocious, Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant. There was scant opportunity for a musical career in Russia at that time, and no system of public music education. When an opportunity for such an education arose, he entered the nascent Saint Petersburg Conservatory, from where he graduated in 1865. The formal Western-oriented teaching he received
    7.00
    3 votes
    109

    Stomu Yamashta

    • Plays Composed: The Man From The East
    Stomu Yamashta (born Yamashita Tsutomu (山下勉, Yamashita Tsutomu, 15 March 1947) is a Japanese percussionist, keyboardist and composer. He is best known for pioneering and popularising the world music genre after blending traditional music with popular music in the 1960s and 1970s. He retired from music shortly after to become a monk. Stomu Yamashta was born in Kyoto, Japan, and studied music at Kyoto University, Juilliard School of Music, and Berklee College of Music, and has also lectured in music. His innovation and acrobatic drumming style earned him many accolades. In the 1960s he performed with Thor Johnson, Toru Takemitsu, and Hans Werner Henze amongst others. He changed his name from Tsutomu Yamashita to the phonetic Stomu Yamashta and in 1969 gained worldwide recognition during a concert with Seiji Ozawa and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Time Magazine reviewed the concert declaring the star of the evening was Stomu Yamashta who stole the show with his breathtaking virtuosic performance, and when it was over the audience gave him a five minute standing ovation. At the turn of the 1970s he worked with Peter Maxwell Davies and brought the Red Buddha Theatre company from Japan
    7.00
    3 votes
    110

    John Addison

    • Plays Composed: Luther
    John Mervyn Addison (16 March 1920 – 7 December 1998) was a British composer best known for his film scores. Addison was born in Chobham, Surrey to a father who was a colonel in the British Army, and this influenced his choice of education at the Wellington College, Berkshire as a child. At the age of sixteen entered the Royal College of Music. He studied composition with Gordon Jacob, oboe with Léon Goossens, and clarinet with Frederick Thurston. This education ended in 1939 with service in World War II. Addison served with the British XXX Corps in the 23rd Hussars. He was a tank officer in the Battle of Normandy and wounded at Caen, later participating in Operation Market Garden. At the end of the war, he returned to London to teach composition at the Royal College of Music. Addison is best known for his film scores. He won an Academy Award and a Grammy Award in the Best Original Score from a Motion Picture or Television Show category for the music to the 1963 film, Tom Jones. He also won a BAFTA Award for A Bridge Too Far (1977). His other film scores included A Taste of Honey (1961), Smashing Time (1967), The Honey Pot (1967), Sleuth (1972), Swashbuckler (1976) and the
    6.00
    4 votes
    111
    Daniel Landa

    Daniel Landa

    • Plays Composed: Krysař
    Daniel Landa (born 4 November 1968) is a Czech musician, actor and racer. Born in Prague, Landa began his musical career in 1987 when he along with David Matásek founded the oi! band Orlík. He graduated from the Prague Conservatory in the area of Music and Drama. After the breakup of the band in 1992 he began his solo career. Daniel lives with his wife Mirjam Müller since 1990. They have a daughter Anastázie and twin daughters Roxana and Rozálie. He used to be interested in autocross, now he's interested in rallying. In 2003, collaborating with Roman Kresta, he founded the Malina foundation, which promotes safe driving. After 3 years of the last tour Landa is planning a new tour named Vozová hradba. Landa was labeled controversial by his critics in the first years of his career. His first two albums revolved around skinheads and the song Bílá liga (White League) was obviously racist, particularly against the Romani. White league (lyrics) Nothing against the tourists, if they want to pay us a visit However, it's not possible to stay and work here Did you hear that bang? Who fell down from the palm tree? Black eyes, black body - thats not my friend! (chorus) White league, white
    8.00
    2 votes
    112
    Darius Milhaud

    Darius Milhaud

    • Plays Composed: Le voyageur sans bagage
    Darius Milhaud (French pronunciation: [daʁjys mijo]; 4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality. Darius Milhaud is to be counted among the modernist composers. Born in Marseilles to a Jewish family from Aix-en-Provence, Milhaud studied in Paris at the Paris Conservatory where he met his fellow group members Arthur Honegger and Germaine Tailleferre. He studied composition under Charles Widor and harmony and counterpoint with André Gedalge. He also studied privately with Vincent d'Indy. From 1917 to 1919, he served as secretary to Paul Claudel, the eminent poet and dramatist who was then the French ambassador to Brazil. On a trip to the United States in 1922, Darius Milhaud heard "authentic" jazz for the first time, on the streets of Harlem, which left a great impact on his musical outlook. The following year, he completed his composition La création du monde (The Creation of the World), using ideas and idioms from jazz, cast as a ballet in six continuous dance scenes. In
    8.00
    2 votes
    113

    Harold Jacob Rome

    • Plays Composed: Destry Rides Again
    Harold Jacob Rome (May 27, 1908, Hartford, Connecticut – October 26, 1993, New York City, NY) was an American composer, lyricist, and writer for musical theater. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Rome played piano in local dance bands and was already writing music while studying architecture and law at Yale University. After graduation he worked as an architect in New York City, but continued to pursue his musical interests, arranging music for local bands and writing material for revues at Green Mansions, a Jewish summer resort in the Adirondacks. Much of the music Rome was writing at this time was socially conscious and of little interest to Tin Pan Alley. In 1937, he made his Broadway debut as co-writer, composer, and lyricist of the topical revue Pins and Needles. Pins and Needles was originally written for a small theatrical production directed by Samuel Roland. After a 2 week professional run, it was adapted for performances by members of the then-striking International Garment Workers' Union as an entertainment for its members. Because Roland was associated with left-wing causes, he was asked by ILGWU president David Dubinsky to withdraw. The show was a huge success, running
    8.00
    2 votes
    114

    Richard Addinsell

    • Plays Composed: Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
    Richard Stewart Addinsell (13 January 1904 – 14 November 1977) was a British composer, best known for film music, primarily his Warsaw Concerto, composed for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight (also known under the later title Suicide Squadron). Richard Addinsell was born in Woburn Square, London, to William Arthur Addinsell, who was a chartered accountant, and his wife, Annie Beatrice Richards. The younger of two brothers, Addinsell was educated at home before attending Hertford College, Oxford, to study Law but left after just 18 months. He then became interested in music. In 1925, he enrolled at the Royal College of Music but lasted only two terms before leaving, again without obtaining any formal qualification. By this time Addinsell was already collaborating with Noel Gay, among others, in an André Charlot Revue. More work for Charlot in 1927 was followed in 1928 by a collaboration with Clemence Dane on Adam's Opera at The Old Vic. In 1929, he completed his informal education by touring Europe to visit major theatrical and musical centres such as Berlin and Vienna. In 1932, with Clemence Dane, he wrote the incidental music for the Broadway adaptation of Alice in Wonderland by
    8.00
    2 votes
    115

    Rudolf Friml

    • Plays Composed: Rose-Marie
    Rudolf Friml (December 7, 1879 – November 12, 1972) was a composer of operettas, musicals, songs and piano pieces, as well as a pianist. After musical training and a brief performing career in his native Prague, Friml moved to the United States, where he became a composer. His best-known works are Rose-Marie and The Vagabond King, each of which enjoyed success on Broadway and in London and were adapted for film. Born in Prague, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and now capital of the Czech Republic, Friml showed aptitude for music at an early age. He entered the Prague Conservatory in 1895, where he studied the piano and composition with Antonín Dvořák. Friml was expelled from the conservatory in 1901 for performing without permission. In Prague and later in America he composed and published songs, piano pieces and other music, including the prize-winning set of songs, Pisne Zavisovy. The last of these, Za tichych noci, later became the basis for a famous film in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1941. After the conservatory, Friml took a position as accompanist to the violinist Jan Kubelík. He toured with Kubelik twice in the United States (1901–02 and 1904) and moved
    8.00
    2 votes
    116
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    • Plays Composed: Thamos, König in Ägypten
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ amaˈdeus ˈmoːtsaʁt], English see fn.), baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons. Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and
    8.00
    2 votes
    117

    Frank Loesser

    • Plays Composed: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
    Frank Henry Loesser ( /ˈlɛsər/) (June 29, 1910 – July 28, 1969) was an American songwriter who wrote the lyrics and music to the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. He won separate Tony Awards for the music and lyrics in both shows, as well as sharing the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the latter. He also wrote numerous songs for films and Tin Pan Alley, many of which have become standards, and was nominated for five Academy Awards for best song, winning once, for "Baby, It's Cold Outside". Loesser was born in New York City to Henry Loesser, a pianist, and Julia (Ehrlich). He left City College of New York in 1925 after one year. After trying various jobs, by 1935 he was performing in a club with singer Lynn Blankenbaker Garland, whom he married in 1936. He and his parents were Jewish. After signing with Universal Pictures in 1936 he moved to Hollywood, and then worked for Paramount Pictures. He wrote the lyrics for many songs during this period, including "Two Sleepy People" and "I Hear Music." He stayed in Hollywood until World War II, when he joined the Army Air Force. One of the early films he worked on was Destry Rides
    9.00
    1 votes
    118
    Jelly Roll Morton

    Jelly Roll Morton

    • Plays Composed: Jelly's Last Jam
    Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941), known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer. Widely recognized as a pivotal figure in early jazz, Morton is perhaps most notable as jazz's first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential spirit and characteristics when notated. His composition "Jelly Roll Blues" was the first published jazz composition, in 1915. Morton is also notable for naming and popularizing the "Spanish tinge" (habanera rhythm and tresillo), and for penning such standards as "Wolverine Blues", "Black Bottom Stomp", and "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say", the latter a tribute to New Orleans personalities from the turn of the 19th century to 20th century. Reputed for his arrogance and self-promotion as often as recognized in his day for his musical talents, Morton claimed to have invented jazz outright in 1902 — much to the derision of later musicians and critics. However, jazz historian, musician, and composer Gunther Schuller writes about Morton's "hyperbolic assertions" that there is "no proof to the contrary" and that Morton's
    9.00
    1 votes
    119

    Jonathan Larson

    • Plays Composed: Rent
    Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996) was an American composer and playwright noted for the serious social issues of multiculturalism, addiction, and homophobia explored in his work. Typical examples of his use of these themes are found in his works, Rent and tick, tick... BOOM!. He received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the rock opera Rent. Larson was born to Jewish parents, Allan and Nanette Larson, in White Plains, New York. He was exposed to the performing arts, especially music and theatre from an early age, as he played the trumpet, tuba, was involved in his school's choir, and took formal piano lessons. His early musical influences were his favorite rock musicians such as Elton John, The Beatles, The Doors, The Who, and Billy Joel, as well as the classic composers of musical theatre, especially Stephen Sondheim. Larson was also involved in acting in high school, performing in lead roles in various productions at White Plains High School. Larson attended Adelphi University in Garden City, New York with a four-year scholarship as an acting Academic major, in addition to performing in numerous plays and musical
    9.00
    1 votes
    120
    Vincenzo Bellini

    Vincenzo Bellini

    • Plays Composed: Master Class
    Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini Italian pronunciation: [vinˈtʃɛntso salvaˈtoːre karˈmɛːlo franˈtʃesko belˈliːni] (3 November 1801 – 23 September 1835) was an Italian opera composer. A native of Catania in Sicily, his greatest works are I Capuleti ed i Montecchi (1830), La sonnambula (1831), Norma (1831), Beatrice di Tenda (1833), and I puritani (1835). Known for his long-flowing melodic lines, for which he was named "the Swan of Catania", Bellini was the quintessential composer of bel canto opera. He died in Puteaux, France at the age of 33, nine months after the premiere of his last opera, I puritani. Born in Catania, Sicily, Bellini was a child prodigy from a highly musical family and legend has it he could sing an aria of Valentino Fioravanti at eighteen months. He began studying music theory at two, the piano at three, and by the age of five could apparently play well. Bellini's first five pieces were composed when he was just six years old. Regardless of the veracity of these claims, it is certain that Bellini grew up in a musical household and that a career as a musician was never in doubt. Having learned from his grandfather, Bellini left provincial Catania in
    9.00
    1 votes
    121

    Wayland Holyfield

    • Plays Composed: Urban Cowboy
    Wayland D. Holyfield, (born 15 March 1942), is a prominent American songwriter and leader in the songwriting community. His song have been recorded by many Nashville artists. Wayland Holyfield was born in Mallettown, Conway County, Arkansas. He was educated in Arkansas public schools and attended Hendrix College at Conway, Arkansas before graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in marketing in 1965. Prior to his musical career Holyfield was a wholesale appliance salesman and advertising account manager. He and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children, Greg, Mark and Lee. In 1972, Holyfield left Arkansas and moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a songwriting career and his first song was recorded in 1973. He received his first number one hit with Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer. In 1975, Holyfield achieved his first solo number one hit You're My Best Friend recorded by Don Williams. In addition to Williams, Holyfield's songs have been recorded by numerous Nashville luminaries including George Strait, Reba McEntire, Barbara Mandrell, Kathy Mattea, Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Charley Pride, Randy Travis, The Judds, Mark Chesnutt, John Anderson, Mel
    9.00
    1 votes
    122
    Harry Chapin

    Harry Chapin

    • Plays Composed: Cotton patch gospel
    Harry Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981) was an American singer-songwriter best known for his folk rock songs including "Taxi", "W*O*L*D", and the No. 1 hit "Cat's in the Cradle". Chapin was also a dedicated humanitarian who fought to end world hunger; he was a key player in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977. In 1987, Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work. Chapin was born into a middle-class family in New York City, the second of four children—including future musicians Tom and Steve (born to Jeanne Elspeth (née Burke) and Jim Chapin, himself a percussionist ). He had English ancestry, his great-grandparents having emigrated in the late 19th century. His parents divorced in 1950, with Elspeth retaining custody of their four sons, as Jim spent much of his time on the road as a drummer for Big band era acts such as Woody Herman. She married Films in Review magazine editor Henry Hart a few years later. Chapin's maternal grandfather was literary critic Kenneth Burke. Chapin's first formal introduction to music was while singing in the Brooklyn Boys Choir. It was here that Chapin met "Big"
    6.67
    3 votes
    123
    Richard M. Sherman

    Richard M. Sherman

    • Plays Composed: Busker Alley
    Richard Morton Sherman (born June 12, 1928) is an American songwriter who specialized in musical film with his brother Robert Bernard Sherman. Some of the Sherman Brothers' best-known writing includes the songs from Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, and the Disney theme park song It's a Small World (After All). Richard Morton Sherman was born in New York City to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Rosa & Al Sherman. Together with his older brother Robert, "The Sherman Brothers" eventually followed in their songwriting father's footsteps to form a long-lasting songwriting partnership. Following seven years of frequent cross-country moves, the Sherman family finally settled down in Beverly Hills, California in 1937. Throughout Richard's years at Beverly Hills High School he became fascinated with music and studied several instruments including the flute, clarinet, piccolo and piano. At his 1946 graduation from Beverly Hills High School, Richard Sherman and André Previn played a musical duet. Previn played piano and Sherman played flute. Coincidentally, in 1965 both composers won Oscars in music categories for different films. At
    6.67
    3 votes
    124

    Robert E. Dolan

    • Plays Composed: Foxy
    Robert Emmett "Bobby" Dolan (August 3, 1908 – September 26, 1972) was a Broadway conductor, composer and arranger beginning in the 1920s. He moved on to radio in the 1930s, and then went to Hollywood in the early 1940s as a musical director for Paramount. He scored, arranged, and conducted many musical and dramatic films in the 1940s and 1950s and produced three musicals. At the end of his career, he returned to the stage – the place where he began. Dolan was born in Hartford, Connecticut the eldest of 12 children. He studied piano with his mother and was educated in Montreal. He received further musical education at Loyola College (now Concordia University), later studying extensively with Mortimer Wilson, Joseph Schillinger and Ernst Toch. Dolan started out playing piano for honky-tonk dance bands and musical comedy bands, and in the 1920s began working as a musician, composer, conductor, and musical director in the theater. Some of the Broadway shows he contributed to were Leave It To Me, Louisiana Purchase, Of Thee I Sing and Ziegfeld Follies. In the 1930s, he began work as a composer, conductor and music director in radio. He became music director for MGM in 1941 and then
    6.67
    3 votes
    125

    Allee Willis

    • Plays Composed: The Color Purple
    Allee Willis (born November 10, 1947) is an American, Grammy Award-winning songwriter, artist, set designer, multimedia artist, writer, collector and director. In 1995 Willis was nominated for an Emmy for her #1 hit, "I'll Be There for You", the theme from Friends, one of the best selling television themes of all time. In 1985 she won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop. Her songs have sold over 50,000,000 records, including "September" and "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire, "Neutron Dance" by the Pointer Sisters, "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" by Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield, and "Lead Me On" by Maxine Nightingale. Willis has collaborated with hundreds of leading artists and composers from all fields of music, including Bob Dylan, James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Deniece Williams and Motown legend Lamont Dozier. She co-authored the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Alice Walker and film by Steven Spielberg, which opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theater on December 1, 2005, and continues on national tour. In September, 2009, Willis opened The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch,  a virtual museum
    7.50
    2 votes
    126
    Elvis Presley

    Elvis Presley

    Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. A cultural icon, he is commonly known by the single name Elvis. One of the most popular musicians of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King". Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13. He began his career there in 1954, working with Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was the most important popularizer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who went on to manage the singer for over two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number-one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited
    7.50
    2 votes
    127
    Fela Kuti

    Fela Kuti

    • Plays Composed: Fela!
    Fela Anikulapo Kuti (15 October 1938 - 2 August 1997), or simply Fela ([feˈlæ]) was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick. Fela was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria into a middle-class family. His mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement and his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, a Protestant minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigerian Union of Teachers. His brothers, Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, both medical doctors, are well known in Nigeria. Fela was a first cousin to the Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first African to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. Fela was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music. While there, he formed the band Koola Lobitos, playing a fusion of jazz and highlife. In 1960, Fela married his first wife, Remilekun (Remi) Taylor, with whom he would have three children (Femi, Yeni, and Sola). In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria, re-formed Koola
    7.50
    2 votes
    128

    Galt MacDermot

    • Plays Composed: Hair
    Galt MacDermot (born December 18, 1928) is a Canadian composer, pianist and writer of musical theatre. He won a Grammy Award for the song "African Waltz" in 1960. His most successful musicals have been Hair (1967; its cast album also won a Grammy) and Two Gentlemen of Verona (1971). MacDermot has also written music for film soundtracks, jazz and funk albums, and classical music, and his music has been sampled in hit hip-hop songs and albums. MacDermot was born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of a Canadian diplomat. He was educated at Upper Canada College and Bishop's University (Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada). He received a Bachelor of Music from Cape Town University, South Africa and made a study of African music his specialty. He also studied the piano privately with Neil Chotem. MacDermot won his first Grammy Award for the Cannonball Adderley recording of his song "African Waltz" (the title track of the album of the same name) in 1960. He moved to New York City in 1964 where, three years later, he wrote the music for the hit musical Hair, which he later adapted for the 1979 film. Its Broadway cast album won a Grammy Award in 1969. His next musicals were Isabel's a Jezebel (1970) and
    7.50
    2 votes
    129

    George Forrest

    • Plays Composed: Grand Hotel
    George Forrest (July 31, 1915 – October 10, 1999) was a writer of music and lyrics for musical theatre best known for the show Kismet, adapted from the works of Alexander Borodin. Born George Forrest Chichester, Jr., he was also known professionally at times as Chet Forrest. Throughout his career he worked exclusively with the composer-lyricist Robert Wright. The pair had an affinity for adapting classical music themes and adding lyrics to these themes for Hollywood and the Broadway musical stage. Mr. Wright said that the music was usually a 50-50 "collaboration" between Wright & Forrest and the composer. While both men were credited equally as composer-lyricists, it was Mr. Forrest who worked with the music. Kismet was one of several works Forrest created with composer-lyricist Robert Wright that was commissioned by impresario Edwin Lester for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. Song of Norway, Gypsy Lady, Magdalena, and their adaptation of The Great Waltz were also commissioned by Lester for the LACLO. The LACLO then exported most of these productions to Broadway. Forrest and Wright won a Tony Award for their work on Kismet and in 1995 they were awarded the ASCAP Foundation
    7.50
    2 votes
    130
    Jacques Brel

    Jacques Brel

    • Plays Composed: Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
    Jacques Brel (French pronunciation: [ʒak bʁɛl]; 8 April 1929 – 9 October 1978) was a Belgian singer-songwriter who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following in France initially, and later throughout the world. He was widely considered a master of the modern chanson. Although he recorded most of his songs in French, he became a major influence on English-speaking songwriters and performers such as David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Marc Almond and Rod McKuen. English translations of his songs were recorded by many top performers in the United States, including Ray Charles, Judy Collins, John Denver, the Kingston Trio, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Scott Walker, and Andy Williams. In French-speaking countries, Brel was also a successful actor, appearing in ten films. He also directed two films, one of which, Le Far West, was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. Jacques Brel has sold over 25 million records worldwide, and is the third best-selling Belgian recording artist of all time. Jacques Romain Georges Brel was born on 8 April 1929 in Schaarbeek, Brussels, Belgium to Romain Brel and Elisabeth
    7.50
    2 votes
    131
    Jean Sibelius

    Jean Sibelius

    • Plays Composed: Kuolema
    Jean Sibelius ( pronunciation (help·info); 8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish composer of the later Romantic period. His music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as "prodigious." The core of Sibelius's oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each successive work to further develop his own personal compositional style. His works continue to be performed frequently in the concert hall and are often recorded. In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius's best-known compositions include Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto in D minor and The Swan of Tuonela (one of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala; over 100 songs for voice and piano; incidental music for 13 plays; the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower); chamber music; piano music; Masonic ritual music; and 21 separate publications of choral music. Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s. However, after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924), the incidental music to
    7.50
    2 votes
    132

    Jeff Marx

    • Plays Composed: Avenue Q
    Jeff Marx (born September 10, 1970) is a composer and lyricist of musicals. He is best known for creating the Broadway musical Avenue Q with collaborator Robert Lopez. Marx grew up in Hollywood, Florida. He attended Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Following graduation, he attended the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the Men's Glee Club. He also holds a juris doctor degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar Association, but he does not practice law or represent himself. After passing the New York State Bar examination Marx enrolled at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in order to meet potential clients in the entertainment industry. Here he met Robert Lopez who was also in the course. Their first major project together, a spec Muppet movie, Kermit, Prince of Denmark, which was very loosely based on Hamlet, won them (as part of a tie) part of the $150,000 Kleban Award. Together, they created the original concept for Avenue Q and wrote all the show's 21 songs. Avenue Q is currently running Off Broadway, in the West End, on a US National Tour, and continues to have various international
    7.50
    2 votes
    133

    John Kander

    • Plays Composed: The Act
    John Harold Kander (born March 18, 1927) is the American composer of a number of musicals as part of the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb. Kander was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Bernice (née Aaron) and Harold S. Kander. Kander attended The Pembroke Country-Day School and Oberlin College before earning a Master's degree at Columbia University where he was a protégé of Douglas Moore and studied composition with Jack Beeson. Kander began his Broadway career as substitute rehearsal pianist for West Side Story. The stage manager for West Side Story then asked Kander to play the auditions for her next show, Gypsy. During the auditions, Kander met the choreographer, Jerome Robbins, who suggested that Kander compose the dance music for the show in 1959. After that experience, he wrote dance arrangements for Irma la Douce in 1960. His first produced musical was A Family Affair, written with James and William Goldman. He met lyricist Fred Ebb in 1962 and began a songwriting collaboration that would last for more than four decades. Later that year rising star Barbra Streisand recorded two of the duo's songs, "My Coloring Book" and "I Don't Care Much." In 1965, Kander and Ebb
    7.50
    2 votes
    134
    Phil Hartman

    Phil Hartman

    • Plays Composed: The Pee-Wee Herman Show
    Philip Edward "Phil" Hartman (September 24, 1948 – May 28, 1998; né Hartmann) was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman and his family moved to the United States when he was 10. After graduating from California State University, Northridge, with a degree in graphic arts, he designed album covers for bands like Poco and America. Feeling the need for a more creative outlet, Hartman joined the comedy group The Groundlings in 1975 and there helped comedian Paul Reubens develop his character Pee-wee Herman. Hartman co-wrote the screenplay for the film Pee-wee's Big Adventure and made recurring appearances on Reubens' show Pee-wee's Playhouse. Hartman became famous in the late 1980s when he joined the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He won fame for his impressions, particularly of President Bill Clinton, and he stayed on the show for eight seasons. Called "the Glue" for his ability to hold the show together and help other cast members, Hartman won a Primetime Emmy Award for his SNL work in 1989. In 1995, after scrapping plans for his own variety show, he starred as Bill McNeal in the NBC sitcom NewsRadio. He
    7.50
    2 votes
    135

    Sandy Wilson

    • Plays Composed: The Boy Friend
    Sandy Wilson (born 19 May 1924) is an English composer and lyricist, best known for his musical The Boy Friend (1953). Wilson was born Alexander Galbraith Wilson in Sale, Greater Manchester, and was educated at Harrow School and Oriel College, Oxford. During the war he served in the Royal Ordnance Corps in Great Britain, Egypt and Iraq. While at Oxford he wrote revues for the Oxford University Experimental Theatre Club, and then attended the Old Vic Theatre School on a production course. Most of his work for the stage was material for revues, such as Hermione Gingold's Slings and Arrows, Laurier Lister's Oranges and Lemons, and See You Later, starring such performers as Peter Cook. The Boy Friend for the Players' Theatre was written in 1953 and went on to be produced in the West End at Wyndhams Theatre in January 1954 and on Broadway in 1954, introducing Julie Andrews in her Broadway debut. He donated his papers to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. His autobiography, published in 1975, is titled I Could Be Happy.
    7.50
    2 votes
    136
    Melvin Van Peebles

    Melvin Van Peebles

    • Plays Composed: Don't Play Us Cheap
    Melvin "Block" Van Peebles (born August 21, 1932) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, novelist and composer. He is most famous for creating the acclaimed film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, which heralded a new era of African-American focused films. He is the father of actor and director Mario Van Peebles. Van Peebles was born in Chicago, Illinois to a black tailor. He joined the Air Force in 1954, thirteen days after graduating (B.A., 1953) from Ohio Wesleyan University, staying for three and a half years. He married a German woman, Maria Marx. They lived in Mexico for a brief period, where he painted portraits, before coming back to the United States, where he started driving cable cars in San Francisco. Van Peebles began writing about his experiences as a cable car driver. What evolved from an initially small article and a series of photographs was Van Peebles' first book, The Big Heart. One day, a passenger suggested that Van Peebles should become a filmmaker. He shot his first short film, Pickup Men for Herrick, in 1957. He made two more short films during the same period. According to Van Peebles, "I thought they were features. Each one turned out to
    4.80
    5 votes
    137
    Clint Black

    Clint Black

    • Plays Composed: Urban Cowboy
    Clinton Patrick "Clint" Black (born February 4, 1962) is an American country music singer-songwriter, record producer, multi-instrumentalist and occasional actor. Signed to RCA Records in 1989, Black made his debut with his Killin' Time album, which produced four straight number one singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. Although his momentum gradually slowed throughout the 1990s, Black consistently charted hit songs into the 2000s. He has amassed more than 30 singles on the US Billboard country charts (of which 13 have reached number one), in addition to releasing nine studio albums and several compilation albums. In 2003, Black founded his own record label, Equity Music Group. Black has also ventured into acting, having made a cameo appearance in the 1994 film Maverick, as well as a starring role in 1998's Still Holding On: The Legend of Cadillac Jack. Clint Black was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, the youngest of four children born to G.A. and Ann Black, and lived in nearby Red Bank. The family moved back to Texas, where G.A. Black had been raised, before Clint was one year old. He was raised in Houston. Music was always present in the house. Black
    6.33
    3 votes
    138
    Harry Warren

    Harry Warren

    • Plays Composed: 42nd Street
    Harry Warren (December 24, 1893 – September 22, 1981) was an American composer and lyricist. Warren was the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song eleven times and won three Oscars for composing "Lullaby of Broadway", "You'll Never Know" and "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe". He wrote the music for the first blockbuster film musical, 42nd Street, choreographed by Busby Berkeley, with whom he would collaborate on many musical films. Over a career spanning four decades, Warren wrote over 800 songs. Other well-known Warren hits included "I Only Have Eyes for You", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Jeepers Creepers", "The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)", "That's Amore", "The More I See You", "At Last" and "Chattanooga Choo Choo" (the last of which was the first gold record in history). Warren was one of America's most prolific film composers,and his songs have been featured in over 300 films. Warren was born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna, one of eleven children of Italian immigrants Antonio (a bootmaker) and Rachel De Luca Guaragna, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His father changed the
    6.33
    3 votes
    139

    Robert Wright

    • Plays Composed: Grand Hotel
    Robert (Bob) Craig Wright (September 25, 1914 – July 27, 2005) was an American composer-lyricist for Hollywood and the musical theatre best known for the Broadway musical and musical film Kismet, for which he and his professional partner George Forrest adapted themes by Alexander Borodin and added lyrics. Kismet was one of several Wright and Forrest creations that was commissioned by impresario Edwin Lester for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. Song of Norway, Gypsy Lady, Magdalena, and their adaptation of The Great Waltz were also commissioned by Lester for the LACLO. The LACLO then exported most of these productions to Broadway. Wright and Forrest had an affinity for adapting classical music themes and adding lyrics to these themes for Hollywood and the Broadway musical stage. Wright said that the music was usually a 50-50 "collaboration" between Wright and Forrest and the composer. While both men were credited equally as composer-lyricists, it was Forrest who worked with the music. Forrest and Wright won a Tony Award for their work on Kismet and in 1995 they were awarded the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award. Hit songs of their day include "The Donkey Serenade" (written
    6.33
    3 votes
    140

    Billy Goldenberg

    • Plays Composed: Ballroom
    William Leon "Billy" Goldenberg (born February 10, 1936, Brooklyn, New York City) is an American composer most known for his work on television and film. Among his most noteworthy were his collaborations with Steven Spielberg on his telefilms (in particular, Duel) and his seven-episode contribution toward the NBC Mystery Movie detective series Columbo. He composed the theme music for several popular televisions shows including Kojak, Rhoda, Rage of Angels and Our House. He also composed the scores to countless of films and made-for-TV movies; including Onassis: The Richest Man in the World, 18 Again!, Guilty Conscience, Helter Skelter, The Legend of Lizzie Borden and hundreds others. He served as Musical Director for "Elvis Presley's Comeback Special," "The Ann-Margret Show," "An Evening with Diana Ross" and others. He was awarded an Emmy in 1975 for the series "Benjamin Franklin" and again in 1978 for the mini-series "King". He has received 22 Emmy nominations in total. He served a musical accompanist for An Evening with Elaine May and Mike Nichols. He was also the composer of the Michael Bennett-directed Broadway musical Ballroom, based on the television special Queen of the
    8.00
    1 votes
    141

    Christopher Bond

    Christopher Godfrey Bond (born 1945) is a British playwright whose 1973 retelling of the Victorian tale Sweeney Todd formed the basis of Stephen Sondheim's musical of the same name, with book by Hugh Wheeler. He currently lives in West Cornwall.
    8.00
    1 votes
    142
    Ennio Morricone

    Ennio Morricone

    • Plays Composed: La Fidanzata Del Bersagliere
    Ennio Morricone, Grand Officer OMRI, Italian pronunciation: [ˈɛnnjo morriˈkoːne] (born November 10, 1928) is an Italian composer and conductor, who has written music for more than 500 motion pictures and television series, in a career lasting over 50 years. His scores have been included in over 20 award-winning films as well as several symphonic and choral pieces. Morricone is most famous for his work in the Spaghetti Westerns directed by his friend Sergio Leone, including A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), but his career includes a wide range of composition genres making him one of the world's most versatile, prolific and influential artists. Born in Rome, Morricone took up the trumpet as a child and attended the National Academy of Santa Cecilia to take lessons on the instrument at the age of nine. He formally entered a conservatory at the age of 12, enrolling in a four-year harmony programme. He received his trumpet diploma in 1946 and started working professionally, composing the music to "Il Mattino" ("The Morning"). Morricone soon gained popularity by writing his first
    8.00
    1 votes
    143
    Jean-Baptiste Lully

    Jean-Baptiste Lully

    • Plays Composed: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
    Jean-Baptiste de Lully (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃batist də lyˈli]; Italian: Giovanni Battista Lulli; 28 November 1632 – 22 March 1687) was an Italian-born French composer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered the chief master of the French baroque style. Lully disavowed any Italian influence in French music of the period. He became a French subject in 1661. Lully, son of a working-class miller, was born in Florence, Italy. Lully had little education, but he learned basic techniques on the guitar, originally taught by a Franciscan friar of Florence. Later in France, he learned how to play the violin, and to dance. In 1646, he was discovered by Roger de Lorraine, the chevalier de Guise, son of Charles, Duke of Guise, and was taken to France, where he entered the services of Mademoiselle de Montpensier (la Grande Mademoiselle) as a scullery-boy and Italian-language teacher. With the help of this princess, his talent increased. He studied the theory of music under Nicolas Métru. It has been said that a scurrilous song on his patroness (the doggerel he set to music refers to a "sigh" she produced while at stool) resulted in his
    8.00
    1 votes
    144

    Leslie Bricusse

    • Plays Composed: The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd
    Leslie Bricusse (born 29 January 1931) is an English composer, lyricist, and playwright. Although best known for his partnership with Anthony Newley, Bricusse has worked with many other composers. He was educated at University College School in London and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge University, he was Secretary of Footlights between 1952 and 1953 and Footlights President during the following year. He currently lives in California in the United States, and he is married to the actress Yvonne Romain. Sammy Davis, Jr. had hits with two of Bricusse's songs, "What Kind of Fool Am I?" (from Stop the World - I Want to Get Off) and the #1 hit "The Candy Man" (from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory). Other recording artists who have had popular success with his songs include Matt Monro and Frank Sinatra ("My Kind of Girl"), Shirley Bassey ("Goldfinger"), Harry Secombe ("If I Ruled the World"), Nancy Sinatra ("You Only Live Twice"), Maureen McGovern ("Can You Read My Mind"), and Diana Krall ("When I Look in Your Eyes"). Bricusse also partnered with George Tipton to write the opening theme of the U.S. television series It's a Living.
    8.00
    1 votes
    145
    Pete Townshend

    Pete Townshend

    • Plays Composed: The Who's Tommy
    Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend (born 19 May 1945) is an English rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and author, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group The Who, as well as for his own solo career. His career with The Who spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 1970s, and, according to Eddie Vedder, "possibly the greatest live band ever." Townshend is the primary songwriter for The Who, having written well over 100 songs for the band's 11 studio albums, including concept albums and the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus popular rock and roll radio staples like Who's Next, and dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations like Odds & Sods. He has also written over 100 songs that have appeared on his solo albums, as well as radio jingles and television theme songs. Although known primarily as a guitarist, he also plays other instruments such as keyboards, banjo, accordion, synthesiser, bass guitar and drums, on his own solo albums, several Who albums, and as a guest contributor to a wide array
    8.00
    1 votes
    146
    Woody Guthrie

    Woody Guthrie

    • Plays Composed: Woody Guthrie's American Song
    Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land." Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression when Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned their traditional folk and blues songs, earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour." Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States Communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any. Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American folk musician Arlo Guthrie. Guthrie died from complications of Huntington's disease, a
    8.00
    1 votes
    147
    Damon Albarn

    Damon Albarn

    • Plays Composed: Monkey: Journey to the West
    Damon Albarn (/ˈdeɪmən ˈælbɑrn/; born 23 March 1968 in Whitechapel, London) is an English musician, singer-songwriter, record producer and actor who came to prominence as the frontman and primary songwriter of the alternative rock band Blur. However, he has been involved in many other high profile projects, most notably Gorillaz, a virtual band. Raised in Leytonstone, London and around Colchester, Essex, Albarn started learning guitar, piano and violin in his youth. Albarn attended Stanway Comprehensive School where he met with future alternative rock-star, Graham Coxon. After studying Drama and playing in short lived synth pop outfit, Two's a Crowd, Albarn formed a band with Coxon which, after various incarnations, evolved into Blur with additional members, Alex James and Dave Rowntree. After Blur's debut album, Leisure, and its associated tour received mixed reviews, Blur became influenced by British Classic Rock bands. Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife and The Great Escape, helped Blur to achieve mass popularity in the UK, spearheading the Britpop movement. As Britpop declined in popularity, Blur's next three albums, Blur, 13 and Think Tank contained influenced from Indie Rock,
    7.00
    2 votes
    148

    Dick Lee

    • Plays Composed: Puteri Gunung Ledang
    Richard "Dick" Lee Peng Boon (born 24 August 1956) is a Singaporean pop singer, composer, songwriter, and playwright. He is best known as a Singapore Idol judge, but often too as spokesperson for the New Asian generation. He was born to a Peranakan father, Lee Kip Lee, (who writes for The Straits Times), and a Chinese mother, Elizabeth Tan. He was the eldest child in the family of five, with three brothers and a deceased sister. He received his early education at St. Michael's School (now SJI Junior) and his secondary education at St. Joseph's Institution. In 1992, he married jazz singer Jacintha Abisheganaden and divorced a few years later. He is a Roman Catholic. Dick Lee started his career 1971 when, at the age of fifteen, Dick participated in various talent contests with the group, Harmony, and Dick and the Gang (teaming with his siblings). His first album, Life Story, featuring his compositions, was released in 1974. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Dick championed the acceptance of Asian elements in pop music. His pioneering album, Life In The Lion City (1984), won acclaim for just that. But the album that shot him to regional prominence was his 1989 release, The Mad Chinaman.
    7.00
    2 votes
    149

    Jerry Chesnut

    • Plays Composed: Urban Cowboy
    Jerry Donald Chesnut (born May 7, 1931) is an American country music songwriter. His hits include "A Good Year for the Roses" (recorded by George Jones) and "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" (recorded by Elvis Presley). Born and raised in Harlan County, Kentucky he moved to Nashville in 1958 to pursue his career. In 1968 Jerry Lee Lewis's hit recording of Chesnut's "Another Place, Another Time" was nominated for a Grammy Award. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This list includes the song title and artist/s who have recorded the song.
    7.00
    2 votes
    150
    Kurt Weill

    Kurt Weill

    • Plays Composed: LoveMusik
    Kurt Julian Weill (March 2, 1900 – April 3, 1950) was a German composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. With Brecht, he developed productions such as his most well known work The Threepenny Opera, a Marxist critique of capitalism, which included the ballad "Mack the Knife". Weill was a socialist who held the ideal of writing music that served a socially useful purpose. He also wrote a number of works for the concert hall, as well as several Judaism-themed pieces. Kurt Julian Weill was born on March 2, 1900, the third of four children to Albert Weill (1867–1950) and Emma Weill née Ackermann (1872–1955). He grew up in a religious Jewish family in the "Sandvorstadt", the Jewish quarter in Dessau, Germany, where his father was a cantor. At the age of twelve, Kurt Weill started taking piano lessons and made his first attempts at writing music; his earliest preserved composition was written in 1913 and is titled Mi Addir. Jewish Wedding Song. In 1915, Weill started taking private lessons with Albert Bing, Kapellmeister at the "Herzogliches
    7.00
    2 votes
    151
    Marc Shaiman

    Marc Shaiman

    • Plays Composed: Hairspray
    Marc Shaiman (born October 22, 1959) is a Tony, Grammy, Emmy winning and Oscar nominated American composer, lyricist, arranger, and performer for films, television, and theatre. He is perhaps best known for writing the music and co-writing the lyrics for the Broadway musical version of the cult John Waters film Hairspray. Shaiman was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Claire (née Goldfein) and William Robert Shaiman. He went to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. He lives in both Los Angeles and New York City. Shaiman and Scott Wittman have been partners in life and collaborators in theater since 1979. Shaiman started his career as a theatre/cabaret musical director. He then became vocal arranger for Bette Midler, eventually becoming her musical director and co-producer of many of her recordings, including The Wind Beneath My Wings and From a Distance. He helped create the material for her performance on the penultimate The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His work with both Bette Midler and Billy Crystal led to his involvement on their films. His film credits include Broadcast News, Beaches, When Harry Met Sally..., City Slickers, The Addams Family, Sister Act, Sleepless in
    7.00
    2 votes
    152
    Marc-Antoine Charpentier

    Marc-Antoine Charpentier

    • Plays Composed: Le Malade imaginaire
    Marc-Antoine Charpentier, pronounced: [maʁk ɑ̃.twan ʃaʁ.pɑ̃.tje], (1643 – 24 February 1704) was a French composer of the Baroque era. Exceptionally prolific and versatile, he produced compositions of the highest quality in several genres. His mastery in writing sacred vocal music, above all, was recognized and hailed by his contemporaries. He was unrelated to Gustave Charpentier, the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century French opera composer. Charpentier was born in or near Paris, the son of a master scribe who had very good connections to influential families in the Parlement of Paris. Marc-Antoine received a very good education, perhaps with the help of the Jesuits, and registered for law school in Paris when he was eighteen. He withdrew after one semester. He spent "two or three years" in Rome, probably between 1667 and 1669, and studied with Giacomo Carissimi. He is also known to have been in contact with poet-musician Charles Coypeau d'Assoucy, who was composing for the French Embassy in Rome. A legend claims that Charpentier initially traveled to Rome to study painting before he was discovered by Carissimi. This story is undocumented and possibly untrue; at any rate,
    7.00
    2 votes
    153
    Richard Rodgers

    Richard Rodgers

    • Plays Composed: Allegro
    Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902 – December 30, 1979) was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music down to the present day, and have an enduring broad appeal. Rodgers was the first person to win what are considered the top show business awards in television, recording, movies and Broadway—an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony—now known collectively as an EGOT. He has also won a Pulitzer Prize, making him one of two people (Marvin Hamlisch is the other) to receive each award. Born into a prosperous ethnic German Jewish family in Arverne, Queens, New York City, Rodgers was the son of Mamie (Levy) and Dr. William Abrahams Rodgers, a prominent physician who had changed the family name from Abrahams. Richard began playing the piano at age six. He attended P.S. 10, Townsend Harris Hall and DeWitt Clinton High School. Rodgers spent his early teenage summers in Camp Wigwam (Waterford, Maine) where he composed some of his
    7.00
    2 votes
    154
    The Edge

    The Edge

    • Plays Composed: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
    David Howell Evans (born 8 August 1961), more widely known by his stage name The Edge (or just Edge), is a musician best known as the guitarist, backing vocalist, and keyboardist of the Irish rock band U2. A member of the group since its inception, he has recorded 12 studio albums with the band and has released one solo record. As a guitarist, The Edge has crafted a minimalistic and textural style of playing. His use of a rhythmic delay effect yields a distinctive ambient, chiming sound that has become a signature of U2's music. The Edge was born in England to a Welsh family, but was raised in Ireland after moving there as an infant. In 1976, at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, he formed U2 with his fellow students and his older brother Dik. Inspired by the ethos of punk rock and its basic arrangements, the group began to write its own material. They eventually became one of the most popular acts in popular music, with successful albums such as 1987's The Joshua Tree and 1991's Achtung Baby. Over the years, The Edge has experimented with various guitar effects and introduced influences from several genres of music into his own style, including American roots music, industrial
    7.00
    2 votes
    155
    Tom Waits

    Tom Waits

    • Plays Composed: The Black Rider
    Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and has acted in supporting roles in films including Paradise Alley and Bram Stoker's Dracula; he also starred in the 1986 film Down by Law. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart. Lyrically, Waits' songs frequently present atmospheric portrayals of grotesque, often seedy characters and places—although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known through cover versions by more commercial artists:
    7.00
    2 votes
    156
    Edvard Grieg

    Edvard Grieg

    • Plays Composed: Sigurd Jorsalfar
    Edvard Hagerup Grieg [ˈɛdʋɑʁd ˈhɑːgəʁʉp ˈgʁɪg] (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King), and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces. Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway on 15 June 1843. His parents were Alexander Grieg (1806–1875), a merchant and vice consul in Bergen, and Gesine Judithe Hagerup (1814–1875), a music teacher and daughter of Edvard Hagerup. The family name, originally spelled Greig, has Scottish origins. After the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Grieg's great-grandfather traveled widely, settling in Norway about 1770, and establishing business interests in Bergen. Edvard Grieg was raised in a musical area. His mother was his first piano teacher and taught him to play at the age of 6. Grieg studied in several schools, including Tank's School. He often brought in samples of his music to class. In the summer of 1858, Grieg met the eminent Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, who was a family friend; Bull's brother was married to Grieg's aunt. Bull
    6.00
    3 votes
    157

    Lebo M

    • Plays Composed: The Lion King
    Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake (born 20 May 1964) is a South African composer most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movies and stage productions. He was recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer, the score composer of The Lion King, and was later hired to form and conduct the African choir that sang for the movies. His voice is the first voice heard in the beginning of the film, singing the now famous chant (often considered synonymous with the film's image in popular culture) over the opening sequence. He also contributed to the sequel to the film's soundtrack, Rhythm of the Pride Lands, and the film's direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. Lebo M was born on 20 May 1964 in the Apartheid-ridden Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa and was inspired by Nelson Mandela, he spent years working hard in the slums and then in Los Angeles in a variety of jobs, including begging and serving at McDonald's. He was exiled from South Africa in 1979, but returned 20 years later. He lives with his family in Johannesburg and Los Angeles. He founded the Lebo M Foundation and Till Dawn Entertainment. The shortened version of his name is a homonym for La bohème,
    6.00
    3 votes
    158
    Michel Legrand

    Michel Legrand

    • Plays Composed: Marguerite
    Michel Jean Legrand (born 24 February 1932, in Bécon-les-Bruyères in the Paris suburbs) is a French musical composer, arranger, conductor, and pianist. His father Raymond Legrand was a conductor and composer renowned for hits such as Irma la douce and his mother, Marcelle Der Mikaëlian (sister of conductor Jacques Hélian), who married Legrand Senior in 1929, was descended from the Armenian bourgeoisie. Legrand is a prolific composer, having written over 200 film and television scores in addition to many memorable songs. He is best known for his often haunting film music and scores, such as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) featuring the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" for which he won his first Academy Award. Legrand has composed more than two hundred film and television scores and several musicals and has made well over a hundred albums. He has won three Oscars (out of 13 nominations) and five Grammys and has been nominated for an Emmy. He was twenty-two when his first album, I Love Paris, became one of the best-selling instrumental albums ever released. He is a virtuoso jazz and classical pianist and an accomplished arranger and conductor who
    6.00
    3 votes
    159
    Stephen Schwartz

    Stephen Schwartz

    • Plays Composed: Children of Eden
    Stephen Lawrence Schwartz (born March 6, 1948) is an American musical theatre lyricist and composer. In a career spanning over four decades, Schwartz has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003). He has also contributed lyrics for a number of successful films, including Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Pippi Longstocking (1997), The Prince of Egypt (1998; music and lyrics) and Enchanted (2007). Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards. Schwartz was born in New York City, the son of Sheila Lorna (née Siegal), a teacher, and Stanley Leonard Schwartz, who worked in business. He grew up in the Williston Park area of Nassau County, New York, where he graduated from Mineola High School in 1964. He also studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School while attending high school. Schwartz graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968 with a BFA in drama. Upon returning to New York City, Schwartz went to work as a producer for RCA Records, but shortly thereafter began to work in the Broadway theatre. He was asked to be
    6.00
    3 votes
    160
    Meredith Willson

    Meredith Willson

    • Plays Composed: The Music Man
    Robert Meredith Willson (May 18, 1902 – June 15, 1984) was an American composer, songwriter, conductor and playwright, best known for writing the book, music and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical The Music Man. He wrote three other Broadway musicals, composed symphonies and popular songs, and his film scores were twice nominated for Academy Awards. He was born in Mason City, Iowa to John David Willson and Rosalie Reiniger Willson, and had a brother two years older, John Cedrick, and a sister 12 years older, Lucille. He attended Frank Damrosch's Institute of Musical Art (later The Juilliard School) in New York City. He married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth "Peggy" Wilson on August 29, 1920. A flute and piccolo player, Willson was a member of John Philip Sousa's band (1921–1923), and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini (1924–1929). Willson then moved to San Francisco, California as the concert director for radio station KFRC, and then as a musical director for the NBC radio network in Hollywood. His work in films included composing the score for Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940), (Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score), and
    5.67
    3 votes
    161

    Sigmund Romberg

    • Plays Composed: Bombo
    Sigmund Romberg (July 29, 1887 – November 9, 1951) was a Austro-Hungarian-born American composer, best known for his operettas. Romberg was born as Siegmund Rosenberg to a Jewish family, Adam and Clara Rosenberg, in Gross-Kanizsa (Hungarian: Nagykanizsa) during the Austro-Hungarian kaiserlich und königlich (Imperial and Royal) monarchy period. In 1889 Romberg and his family moved to Belišće, which was then in Hungary, where he attended a primary school. Influenced by his father, Romberg learned to play the violin at six, and piano at eight years of age. He enrolled at Osijek gymnasium in 1897, where he was a member of the high school orchestra. He went to Vienna to study engineering, but he also took composition lessons while living there. He moved to the United States in 1909 and, after a brief stint working in a pencil factory, was employed as a pianist in cafés. He eventually founded his own orchestra and published a few songs, which, despite their limited success, brought him to the attention of the Shubert brothers, who in 1914 hired him to write music for their Broadway theatre shows. That year he wrote his first successful Broadway revue, The Whirl of the World. Romberg's
    5.67
    3 votes
    162
    Duke Ellington

    Duke Ellington

    • Plays Composed: Black and Blue
    Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and big-band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions. In the opinion of Bob Blumenthal of The Boston Globe, "[i]n the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Edward Kennedy Ellington." A major figure in the history of jazz, Ellington's music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death and the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowed on him a special posthumous honor in 1999. Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe
    6.50
    2 votes
    163

    Ellie Greenwich

    • Plays Composed: Leader of the Pack
    Eleanor Louise "Ellie" Greenwich (October 23, 1940 – August 26, 2009) was an American pop music singer, songwriter, and record producer. She wrote or co-wrote "Be My Baby", "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", "Da Doo Ron Ron", "Leader of the Pack", "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", and "River Deep, Mountain High", among many others. She discovered Neil Diamond and sang backing vocals on several of Diamond's hit songs. Greenwich (pronounced "GREN-itch") was born Eleanor Louise Greenwich in Brooklyn, New York, to a Catholic father, William, an electrical engineer and former painter, and a Jewish mother, Rose Baron, a department store manager, both were of Russian ancestry. She was named for Eleanor Roosevelt and, despite her parent's religious beliefs, she was not raised Catholic or Jewish. Her musical interest was sparked as a child when her parents would play music in their home and she learned how to play the accordion at a young age. At age ten, she moved with her parents and younger sister, Laura, to Levittown, New York. By her teens, she was composing songs; eventually she taught herself to compose on the piano rather than the accordion. In high school, Greenwich and two friends formed a
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    2 votes
    164

    Glen Ballard

    • Plays Composed: GHOST The Musical
    Glen Ballard (born May 1, 1953) is an American songwriter and record producer, best known for co-writing and producing Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill (1995), which won Grammy Award for "Best Rock Album", and "Album of the Year" amongst others, and is ranked by the Rolling Stone amongst The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. He was involved in the recording and writing of Michael Jackson's Thriller and Bad. As a writer he co-wrote songs like "Man in the Mirror" (1987) and "Hand in My Pocket" (1995). He is the founder of Java Records. He won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture for the song "Believe" (The Polar Express). Ballard was born in Natchez, Mississippi. He has performed on, or produced, the following: Ballard wrote the screenplay for Clubland, an ill-received music-driven film about an aspiring musician in Los Angeles. He has written songs in half-a-dozen films including The Slugger’s Wife, Navy Seals, and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Ballard co-wrote the music and lyrics for Ghost The Musical with David A. Stewart and Bruce Joel Rubin, which opened in London's West End on 19 July 2011 and opened on Broadway in the spring of 2012.
    6.50
    2 votes
    165

    Jimmy Kennedy

    • Plays Composed: Spokesong
    Jimmy Kennedy OBE (20 July 1902 – 6 April 1984) was an Irish songwriter, predominantly a lyricist, putting words to existing music such as "Teddy Bears' Picnic" and "My Prayer", or co-writing with the composers Michael Carr, Wilhelm Grosz (aka Hugh Williams) and Nat Simon amongst others. Kennedy was born near Omagh. His father was Joseph Hamilton Kennedy, a member of the Irish police force. Kennedy grew up in Coagh where he wrote several songs and poems inspired by the view of the Ballinderry river, the local Springhill house and the plentiful amount of chestnut trees on his land where his poem chestnut trees derive from. later on Jimmy moved to Portstewart, an Ulster seaside resort located to the north in Derry. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He taught for a while in England before applying to join the Colonial Service as a civil servant in 1927. His music career took off, though, while he was awaiting a posting to the colony of Nigeria. He embarked on a career in songwriting by joining the staff of Bert Feldman, a music publisher based in London's Tin Pan Alley. In a career spanning more than fifty years, he wrote some 2000 songs, of which over 200 became worldwide
    6.50
    2 votes
    166

    Joel Hirschhorn

    • Plays Composed: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    Joel Hirschhorn, (December 18, 1937 – September 17, 2005), was an American songwriter. He won the Academy Award for Best Song on two occasions. He also wrote songs for a number of musicians, including Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Hirschhorn was born in the Bronx and attended the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. After graduating, Hirschhorn became a regular performer on New York’s nightclub circuit, both as a solo singer and as a member of the rock & roll band, The Highlighters. During the mid-1960s, Hirschhorn branched out into writing film soundtracks. The first score he wrote was for Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965), which was directed by his friend Joseph Cates. He worked with Cates again the following year in The Fat Spy. However, the film was received so badly that Hirschhorn struggled to find work in Hollywood for a number of years afterwards. Hirschhorn, along with songwriting partner Al Kasha, did not work on another film until 1970’s The Cheyenne Social Club, which was directed by Gene Kelly. It was the pair’s next effort, for The Poseidon Adventure (1972), that really made their name. "The Morning After", a song they wrote in a single evening, won them their
    6.50
    2 votes
    167
    Leonard Bernstein

    Leonard Bernstein

    • Plays Composed: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Leonard Bernstein ( /ˈbɜrnstaɪn/ US dict: bûrn′·stīn; August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. According to The New York Times, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history." He is quite possibly the conductor whose name is best known to the public in general, especially the American public. His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, as well as Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town and his own Mass. Bernstein was also the first conductor to give numerous television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. In addition, he was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard. As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the
    6.50
    2 votes
    168

    Lew Pollack

    • Plays Composed: Those Were the Days
    Lew Pollack (16 June 1895 – 18 January 1946) was a song composer active during the 1920s and the 1930s. Pollack was born in New York. Among his best known songs are "Charmaine" and "Diane" with Ernö Rapée, "Miss Annabelle Lee", "Two Cigarettes in the Dark", "At the Codfish Ball" (from the Shirley Temple movie "Captain January" with Buddy Edsen), and Go In and Out The Window, now a children's music standard. He also collaborated with Paul Francis Webster, Sidney Clare, Ned Washington and Jack Yellen, amongst others. In 1914 he wrote "That's a Plenty", a rag that became an enduring Dixieland standard. He died in Hollywood. Lew Pollack was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
    6.50
    2 votes
    169
    Madness

    Madness

    • Plays Composed: Our House
    Madness are an English ska band from Camden Town, London, that formed in 1976. One of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s 2 Tone ska revival, they continue to perform with their most recognised line-up of seven members. Madness achieved most of their success in the early to mid 1980s. Both Madness and UB40 spent 214 weeks on the UK singles charts over the course of the decade, holding the record for most weeks spent by a group in the 1980s UK singles charts. However, Madness achieved this in a shorter time period (1980–1986). The core of the band formed as The North London Invaders in 1976, and included Mike Barson (Monsieur Barso) on keyboards and vocals, Chris Foreman (Chrissy Boy) on guitar and Lee Thompson (Kix) on saxophone and vocals. They later recruited John Hasler on drums and Cathal Smyth (better known as Chas Smash) on bass guitar. Later in the year, they were joined by lead vocalist Dikron Tulane. This six-piece line-up lasted until part way through 1977, when Graham McPherson (better known as Suggs) took over the lead vocals after seeing the band perform in a friend's garden. Smyth, who left after an argument with Mike Barson, was replaced by
    6.50
    2 votes
    170
    Matt Stone

    Matt Stone

    • Plays Composed: The Book of Mormon
    Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone (born May 26, 1971) is an American actor, voice actor, animator, screenwriter, producer, musician, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker. Stone and Parker launched their largely collaborative careers in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. Their first success came from Alferd Packer: The Musical, subsequently distributed as Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short title Jesus vs. Santa, leading him and college friend Parker to create South Park, which has been airing for over fifteen years. He has four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for both "Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour" and "Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour". Stone was born in Houston, Texas to Gerald Whitney Stone, Jr. (1941-2010), an economics professor and textbook author, and Sheila Lois Belasco (who share the first names of South Park character Kyle Broflovski's parents). Stone's mother is Jewish and his father was of Irish descent. Stone and his younger sister, Rachel were raised in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, Colorado, where both attended
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    2 votes
    171

    Max Showalter

    • Plays Composed: Harrigan 'N Hart
    Max Showalter (June 2, 1917 – July 30, 2000) was an American film, television, and stage actor, as well as a composer, pianist, and singer. One of Showalter's most memorable roles was as Jean Peters' character's husband in the 1953 film Niagara. Showalter is also credited as Casey Adams. Born in Caldwell, Kansas, Showalter developed a desire for acting as a toddler while accompanying his mother to local theatres where she played piano for silent movies. By the late 1930s, he had multiple stage roles under his belt, and soon made his Broadway debut in Knights of Song. Showalter also appeared in the traveling musical This Is the Army for two years and in other notable Broadway productions like Make Mine Manhattan and The Grass Harp. His most memorable stage role was as Horace Vandergelder in the Broadway hit show, Hello Dolly!. Showalter performed the role more than 3,000 times opposite Carol Channing, Betty Grable and Ginger Rogers. In the late 1940s, Showalter was signed to 20th Century Fox as a featured contract player. His name was changed by Fox's founder, Darryl F. Zanuck to the more "bankable" Casey Adams. He made his feature film debut in Always Leave Them Laughing (1949). He
    6.50
    2 votes
    172

    Peter Verhelst

    • Plays Composed: Aars
    Peter Verhelst (28 January 1962) is a Belgian Flemish novelist, poet, and dramatist. He won the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prijs for Tongkat. His latest novel is a political thriller, Zwerm. Peter Verhelst was born in Bruges, Belgium. From his youth he was extremely interested in books and read atlases and encyclopedia as well as novels. At the age of 16 he started writing poetry. He became a teacher teaching Dutch, English and History. In the mean time he debuted in 1987 with the poem "Obsidiaan". His first novel, "Vloeibaar harnas" followed in 1993. Afterwards he worked as a teacher at the Institute for Food in Brugge. In the year 1999 he quit his job and started writing full time. In the year 2000 he won the prestigious Gouden Uil (Golden Owl) and Young Gold Owl (Jonge Gouden Uil), a literary prize for Belgian literature in the Dutch language. Recently he also started writing for theatre. Verhelst is currently living and working in Bruges, Belgium.
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    2 votes
    173

    Skip Ewing

    • Plays Composed: Urban Cowboy
    Donald Ralph "Skip" Ewing (born March 6, 1964 in Redlands, California) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Active since 1988, Ewing has recorded nine studio albums, and has charted fifteen singles on the Billboard country charts. Ewing first began to garner national attention during the mid-1980s both as a songwriter and recording artist for MCA and Capitol Records. Over 250 of his songs have been recorded, with more than a dozen of them becoming number one hits. Artists who have recorded Ewing's songs include Conway Twitty, George Jones, Andy Williams, Kenny Rogers, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Clint Black, Collin Raye, Diamond Rio, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Trisha Yearwood, Randy Travis, Merle Haggard, Mark Wills, Sammy Kershaw, Bryan White, Gene Watson, Kathy Mattea, Janis Ian, Suzy Boggus, Lorrie Morgan, Keith Whitley, Ricky Van Shelton, Béla Fleck, Keb' Mo and Dave Koz. Ewing is a notable attendee of Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado, and Redlands High School in Redlands, California. More recently, in 2008, he served as the duet partner of the radio version of Reba McEntire's single, "Every Other Weekend." While also
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    2 votes
    174
    Tim Minchin

    Tim Minchin

    • Plays Composed: Matilda the Musical
    Timothy David "Tim" Minchin (born 7 October 1975 in Northampton, England) is an Australian-British comedian, actor, and musician. Tim Minchin is best known for his musical comedy, which has featured in six CDs, three DVDs and a number of live comedy shows which he has performed internationally. He has also appeared on television in Australia, Britain and the United States. After growing up in Perth, Western Australia, he attended the University of Western Australia and WAAPA before moving to Melbourne in 2002. His breakout show, "Dark Side", launched him into the public eye, achieving critical success at the 2005 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Minchin has a background in theatre and has appeared in various stage productions, in addition to some small acting roles on Australian TV. A documentary film about Minchin, Rock N Roll Nerd (directed by Rhian Skirving), was released theatrically in 2008 and broadcast by ABC1 in 2009. He is the composer and lyricist of the Olivier Award winning hit musical, Matilda the Musical, based on the Roald Dahl book Matilda. Minchin was born in Northampton, UK, to Australian parents and raised in Perth,
    6.50
    2 votes
    175
    A. R. Rahman

    A. R. Rahman

    • Plays Composed: Bombay Dreams
    Allah Rakha Rahman (born 6 January 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar) is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist. Described as the world's most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, his works are notable for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, world music genres and traditional orchestral arrangements. He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South in addition to numerous other awards and nominations. His extensive body of work for film and the stage earned him the nickname “the Mozart of Madras” and several Tamil commentators and fans have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (English: Music Storm). In 2009, Time placed Rahman in its list of World's Most Influential People. The UK based World Music magazine Songlines named him one of 'Tomorrow's World Music Icons' in August 2011. Having set up his own in-house studio called Panchathan Record Inn at Chennai, arguably one of Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech studios, Rahman's film scoring career began in the early
    7.00
    1 votes
    176
    Benjamin Britten

    Benjamin Britten

    • Plays Composed: Noye's Fludde
    Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist; and one of the central figures of twentieth-century British classical music. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to international fame. Over the next nine years, he wrote six more operas, establishing himself as one of the leading twentieth-century composers in this genre. Britten's interests as a composer were wide-ranging; he produced important music in such varied genres as orchestral, choral, solo vocal (much of it written for his life partner, tenor Peter Pears), chamber and instrumental, as well as film music. He also took a great interest in writing music for children and amateur performers, and was an outstanding pianist and conductor. Britten was also responsible, together with Pears and the librettist/producer Eric Crozier, for the founding of the Aldeburgh Festival, and the creation of Snape Maltings Concert Hall. Britten was the first composer to be given a life peerage. Benjamin Britten
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    1 votes
    177
    Benny Andersson

    Benny Andersson

    • Plays Composed: Chess
    Göran Bror Benny Andersson (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈjœːˈran bruːr ˈbɛnɪ ˈandɛˈʂɔn]) (born 16 December 1946), known professionally as Benny Andersson, is a Swedish musician, composer, former member of the Swedish musical group ABBA (1972–1983), and co-composer of the musicals Chess, Kristina från Duvemåla, and Mamma Mia!. As of 2011 he is active with his own band Benny Anderssons Orkester (BAO!), and was executive producer for the film version of the musical Mamma Mia!. Andersson was born in Stockholm to 34-year-old construction engineer Gösta Andersson and his 26-year-old wife Laila. His sister Eva-Lis Andersson followed in 1948. Andersson's musical background comes from his father and grandfather; they both enjoyed playing the accordion, and at six, Benny got his own. Father Gösta and grandfather Efraim taught him Swedish folk music, traditional music, and the odd schlager. Benny recalls the first records he bought were "Du Bist Musik" by Italian schlager singer Caterina Valente and Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock". He was especially impressed by the flip side "Treat Me Nice" as this featured a piano. This smörgåsbord of different kinds of music was to influence and follow him
    7.00
    1 votes
    178
    Brenda Russell

    Brenda Russell

    • Plays Composed: The Color Purple
    Brenda Russell (born Brenda Gordon, April 8, 1949, Brooklyn, New York) is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter and keyboardist. Known for her eclectic musical style, her recordings have encompassed several different genres, including pop, soul, dance, jazz and adult contemporary. As well as composing and recording her own material, Russell's songwriting and vocal talents have been used by Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire, Joni Mitchell, Donna Summer, Flo Rida and Sting. Born to musical parents (her father Gus was a one-time member of The Ink Spots), she spent her early years in Canada after moving to Hamilton, Ontario, age 12. As a teenager she began performing in local bands. Brenda was recruited to sing in a Toronto-based girl group called The Tiaras along with Jackie Richardson. The group's one single, "Where Does All The Time Go" was released on Barry Records in 1968 and sunk without a trace in to obscurity. In her late teens she joined the Toronto production of Hair, during which time she had begun to play the piano. In the early 1970s she married musician Bryan Russell and (as Brian & Brenda) they released two albums on Elton John's Rocket label, Word
    7.00
    1 votes
    179

    Bruce Kimmel

    Bruce Kimmel (born December 8, 1947), also known as Guy Haines, is an actor, writer, director, composer, and Grammy-nominated CD producer. Kimmel lives in Los Angeles, California. He is long divorced, and has one daughter. As an actor, Kimmel appeared in many TV shows, such as The Partridge Family (multiple episodes), Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Alice, MASH, Dinah And Her New Best Friends (series regular), Donny and Marie (four guest shots), Playboy On The Air (series regular), as well as many pilots. He also appeared in the films The Apple Dumpling Gang, First Family, and Racquet. He is the director of The First Nudie Musical (1976), The Creature Wasn't Nice (1983), Prime Suspect (1989). Currently writing and directing a new web series, Outside the Box (www.youtube.com/outsidetheboxseries). He has also written many plays/musicals, including a thriller, Deceit (2006), and the musical, The Brain From Planet X (2006). The Brain is a spoof of 50's alien invasion movies and was featured in 2008's Festival of New American Musicals with a run at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, California. Other plays and musicals include The Good One, Stages, Together Again, a musical version of The
    7.00
    1 votes
    180
    Fats Waller

    Fats Waller

    • Plays Composed: Ain't Misbehavin'
    Fats Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943), born Thomas Wright Waller, was a jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer. Thomas Wright Waller was the youngest of four children born to Adaline Locket Waller and the Reverend Edward Martin Waller. He started playing the piano when he was six and graduated to the organ of his father's church four years later. At the age of fourteen he was playing the organ at Harlem's Lincoln Theater and within twelve months he had composed his first rag. Waller's first piano solos ("Muscle Shoals Blues" and "Birmingham Blues") were recorded in October 1922 when he was 18 years old. He was the prize pupil, and later friend and colleague, of stride pianist James P. Johnson. Fats Waller was the son of a preacher and learned to play the organ in church with his mother. Overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, Waller became a professional pianist at 15, working in cabarets and theaters. In 1918 he won a talent contest playing Johnson's "Carolina Shout", a song he learned from watching a player piano play it. Waller was one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in his homeland
    7.00
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    181
    Gioacchino Rossini

    Gioacchino Rossini

    • Plays Composed: Those Were the Days
    Gioachino Antonio Rossini (Italian pronunciation: [d͡ʒoaˈkiːno anˈtɔːnjo rosˈsiːni] (Giovacchino Antonio Rossini in the baptismal certificate) (29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) and La Cenerentola and the French-language epics Moïse et Pharaon and Guillaume Tell. A tendency for inspired, song-like melodies is evident throughout his scores, which led to the nickname "The Italian Mozart". Until his retirement in 1829, Rossini had been the most popular opera composer in history. Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born into a family of musicians in Pesaro, a town on the Adriatic coast of Italy which was then part of the Papal States. His father, Giuseppe, was a horn player and inspector of slaughterhouses. His mother, Anna, was a singer and a baker's daughter. Rossini's parents began his musical training early, and by the age of six he was playing the triangle in his father's musical group. Rossini's father was sympathetic to the French Revolution and welcomed
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    1 votes
    182

    Noel Gay

    • Plays Composed: Me and My Girl
    Noel Gay (15 July 1898 – 4 March 1954) was born Reginald Moxon Armitage. He also used the name Stanley Hill professionally. He was a successful British composer of popular music of the 1930s and 1940s whose output comprised 45 songs as well as the music for 28 films and 26 London shows. Sheridan Morley has commented that he was "the closest Britain ever came to a local Irving Berlin". Armitage was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School before obtaining a scholarship at the age of 15 to attend the Royal College of Music in London, after which he attended university. He had become music director and organist at St. Anne's Church in London's Soho district by the age of eighteen, prior a brief period of military service during the First World War and then studies at Christ's College, Cambridge. A precocious talent, he had deputised for the choirmaster of Wakefield Cathedral from the age of eight, becoming honorary deputy organist at twelve. Whilst at Cambridge, Armitage's interest in religious music and composition declined as that in musical comedy grew. He began writing popular songs, using the stage name Noel Gay. According to Morley
    7.00
    1 votes
    183

    Stephen Sondheim

    • Plays Composed: Saturday Night
    Stephen Joshua Sondheim ( /ˈsɒnd.haɪm/; born March 22, 1930) is an American composer and lyricist known for his contributions to musical theatre. He is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award. Described by Frank Rich of the New York Times as "now the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater", his most famous works include (as composer/lyricist) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. Sondheim has written material for movies, including the 1981 Warren Beatty film Reds, for which he contributed the song "Goodbye For Now". He also wrote five songs for the 1990 movie Dick Tracy, including "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)" which won the Academy Award for Best Song. He was president of the Dramatists Guild from 1973 to 1981. In celebration of his 80th birthday, the Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on
    7.00
    1 votes
    184
    Terence Blanchard

    Terence Blanchard

    • Plays Composed: The Motherfucker with the Hat
    Terence Oliver Blanchard (born March 13, 1962) is an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and film score composer. Since he emerged on the scene in 1980 with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and then shortly thereafter with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Blanchard has been a leading artist in jazz. He was an integral figure in the 1980s jazz resurgence having recorded several award-winning albums and having performed with the jazz elite. He is known as a straight-ahead artist in the hard bop tradition but has recently utilized an African-fusion style of playing that makes him unique from other trumpeters on the performance circuit. However, it is as a film composer that Blanchard reaches his widest audience. His trumpet can be heard on nearly fifty film scores; more than forty bear his unmistakable compositional style. Since 2000, Blanchard has served as Artistic Director at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and as of August 2011 he was named the Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He lives in the Garden District of New Orleans with his wife and four children. Blanchard was born in New Orleans,
    7.00
    1 votes
    185
    Tom Lehrer

    Tom Lehrer

    • Plays Composed: Tom Foolery
    Thomas Andrew Lehrer (born April 9, 1928) is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. He has lectured on mathematics and musical theater. Lehrer is best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s. His work often parodies popular song forms, though Lehrer usually creates original melodies when doing so. A notable exception is his song "The Elements", where he sets the names of the chemical elements to the tune of the "Major-General's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. Lehrer's earlier work typically dealt with non-topical subject matter and was noted for its black humor, seen in songs such as "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park". In the 1960s, he produced a number of songs dealing with social and political issues of the day, particularly when he wrote for the U.S. version of the television show That Was The Week That Was. In the early 1970s, he retired from public performances to devote his time to teaching mathematics and music theatre at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He did two additional performances in 1998 at a London gala show celebrating the career of impresario Cameron Mackintosh. Lehrer was
    7.00
    1 votes
    186

    Eric Woolfson

    • Plays Composed: Edgar Allan Poe
    Eric Norman Woolfson (18 March 1945 – 2 December 2009) was a Scottish songwriter, lyricist, vocalist, executive producer, pianist, and creator of The Alan Parsons Project. He has sold over 50 million albums world-wide. Following the 10 successful APP albums he made with Alan Parsons, Woolfson pursued his career in musical theatre. He wrote five musicals which won many awards and have been seen by over a million people. They have performed in Germany, Austria, Korea and Japan. Woolfson, who belonged to a Jewish family, was born in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow and raised in the Pollokshields area. He was educated at the High School of Glasgow. He started composing music in his early teens. He moved to London where he found work as a session pianist, at the age of 18. The record producer for the Rolling Stones, Andrew Oldham, signed him up as a songwriter. During the following years, Woolfson wrote songs for such artists as Marianne Faithfull, Frank Ifield, Joe Dassin, The Tremeloes, Marie (French singer) Marmalade, Dave Berry, and Peter Noone. His songs were recorded by over 100 artists both in Europe and America. During the 1960s he worked alongside two then-unknown writers,
    6.00
    2 votes
    187

    Frank Wildhorn

    • Plays Composed: Jekyll & Hyde
    Frank Wildhorn (born November 29, 1958) is an American composer known for both his musicals and popular songs. He is most known for his musical Jekyll & Hyde, which ran four years on Broadway, and for writing the #1 International Hit song "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?" for Whitney Houston. Wildhorn was born in Harlem and spent his childhood in Queens before moving to Hollywood, Florida at age 14. Though he was never interested in music growing up, he became interested at age 15 "when he started fiddling around on the family organ in between football practices." Soon after he taught himself how to play the piano, and Wildhorn realized he wanted to compose music. During high school, he played in and wrote for various bands, ranging from rock and roll to Rhythm and blues to jazz. He attended Miami-Dade College for two years before transferring to the University of Southern California, where he studied history and philosophy. He started writing Jekyll & Hyde with Steve Cuden, who was working at USC when Frank was a student. In 1999, Wildhorn became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde at the Plymouth Theatre, The
    6.00
    2 votes
    188
    Paul Reubens

    Paul Reubens

    • Plays Composed: The Pee-Wee Herman Show
    Paul Reubens (born Paul Rubenfeld; August 27, 1952) is an American actor, writer, film producer, and comedian, best known for his character Pee-wee Herman. Reubens joined the Los Angeles troupe The Groundlings in the 1970s and started his career as an improvisational comedian and stage actor. In 1982, Reubens put up a show about a character he had been developing during the last few years. The show was called The Pee-wee Herman Show and it ran for five sellout months with HBO producing a successful special with it. Pee-wee became an instant cult figure and for the next decade Reubens would be completely committed to his character, doing all of his public appearances and interviews as Pee-wee. In 1985 Pee-wee's Big Adventure, directed by the then-unknown Tim Burton, was a financial success and, despite receiving mixed reviews, it developed into a cult film. Big Top Pee-wee, 1988's sequel, was less successful than its predecessor. Between 1986 and 1990, Reubens starred as Pee-wee in the CBS Saturday-morning children's program Pee-wee's Playhouse. In July 1991, after deciding to take a few years' sabbatical from Pee-wee, Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure in an adult theater
    6.00
    2 votes
    189
    Phil Collins

    Phil Collins

    • Plays Composed: Tarzan
    Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins, LVO (born 30 January 1951) is an English singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist and actor best known as a drummer and vocalist for British progressive rock group Genesis and as a solo artist. Collins sang the lead vocals on several chart hits in the United Kingdom and the United States between 1975 and 2010, either as a solo artist or with Genesis. His singles, sometimes dealing with lost love, ranged from the drum-heavy "In the Air Tonight", dance pop of "Sussudio", piano-driven "Against All Odds", to the political statements of "Another Day in Paradise". Collins's professional music career began as a drummer, originally in a band called The Real Thing with Andrea Bertorelli, who later became his first wife. Collins played drums and shared lead vocals (with Brian Chatton) in Flaming Youth which recorded one album, (Ark II). In 1970, he took over drums for Genesis, which had already recorded two albums. In Genesis, Collins originally supplied backing vocals for front man Peter Gabriel, singing lead on only two songs: "For Absent Friends" from 1971's Nursery Cryme album and "More Fool Me" from Selling England by the Pound, which was released in
    6.00
    2 votes
    190

    Roger Miller

    • Plays Composed: Big River
    Roger Dean Miller (January 2, 1936 – October 25, 1992) was an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor, best known for his honky tonk-influenced novelty songs. His most recognized tunes included the chart-topping country/pop hits "King of the Road", "Dang Me" and "England Swings", all from the mid-1960s Nashville sound era. After growing up in Oklahoma and serving in the United States Army, Miller began his musical career as a songwriter in the late 1950s, penning such hits as "Billy Bayou" and "Home" for Jim Reeves and "Invitation to the Blues" for Ray Price. He later started a recording career and reached the peak of his fame in the late 1960s, but continued to record and tour into the 1990s, charting his final top 20 country hit "Old Friends" with Willie Nelson in 1982. Later in his life, he wrote the music and lyrics for the 1985 Tony-award winning Broadway musical Big River, in which he also acted. Miller died from lung cancer in 1992, and was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame three years later. His songs continued to be recorded by younger artists, with covers of "Tall, Tall Trees" by Alan Jackson and "Husbands and Wives" by Brooks & Dunn, each
    6.00
    2 votes
    191
    Tré Cool

    Tré Cool

    • Plays Composed: American Idiot
    Frank Edwin Wright III (born on December 9, 1972), better known as Tré Cool, is an German drummer, best known as the drummer for Green Day. He replaced the group's former drummer John Kiffmeyer in 1991. Cool has also played in The Lookouts, Samiam and the Green Day side-projects The Network and the Foxboro Hot Tubs. Frank Edwin Wright III was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He lived in Willits, California with his father and his older sister Lori. His father was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Wright's closest neighbor was Larry Livermore, who at the time was the singer of the punk band The Lookouts. When Wright was 12, Livermore recruited him as the drummer of The Lookouts and gave him the name of "Tre Cool", relying on both the French word "très" (meaning "very") combined with the word "cool". However, the silent "s" has been dropped in the spelling, as a play on the "third" in his name. A common misconception is that Larry Livermore gave Tre Cool his full nickname; however, he was known as "Tre" long before he joined The Lookouts. When Green Day's drummer, John Kiffmeyer, left the band, the group recruited Cool to be its drummer. In his sophomore year, Cool dropped out of
    6.00
    2 votes
    192

    Vivian Ellis

    • Plays Composed: Mr. Cinders
    Vivian Ellis (29 October 1903 - 19 June 1996) was an English musical comedy composer best known for the song "Spread a Little Happiness" and the theme "Coronation Scot". Ellis was born in Hampstead, London in 1903, not 1904 as is usually stated, and educated at Cheltenham College. He began a musical career as a concert pianist, but became a composer and lyricist. Initially he contributed pieces for several revues in the 1920s. He became well known in the London West End Theatres for providing the music and collaborating in the production of a large number of musical shows, spanning from 1925 to 1958. In fact he was to dominate the theatre of the 1930s having one to three shows run most years of this decade. However, in spite of his music being both pleasant and catchy, few of his compositions were recorded (with the exception of "I'm On a See-Saw" by Fats Waller and "This is My Lovely Day" by Lizbeth Webb and Georges Guetary), so his name became less well known after his last London production. He wrote some songs used in British films of the 1930s. By the 1950s, musical comedy had begin to fall out of fashion, and his last full-length musical, Half in Earnest, appeared in 1958. He
    6.00
    2 votes
    193
    Burt Bacharach

    Burt Bacharach

    • Plays Composed: Baby It's You!
    Burt F. Bacharach ( /ˈbækəræk/ BAK-ə-rak; born May 12, 1928) is an American pianist, composer and music producer. He is known for his popular hit songs and compositions from the mid-1950s through the 1980s, with lyrics written by Hal David. Many of their hits were produced specifically for, and performed by, Dionne Warwick. Following on with the initial success of this collaboration, Bacharach went on to produce hits with Dusty Springfield, Bobbie Gentry, Jackie DeShannon and others. As of 2012, Bacharach had written 73 Top 40 hits in the U.S., and 52 Top 40 hits in the UK. Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in the Forest Hills section of New York City, graduating from Forest Hills High School in 1946. He is the son of Irma (née Freeman) and Bert Bacharach, a well-known syndicated newspaper columnist, His family was Jewish. Bacharach studied music at McGill University, under Helmut Blume, at the Mannes School of Music, and at the Music Academy of the West in Montecito, California. His composition teachers included Darius Milhaud, Henry Cowell, and Bohuslav Martinů. Following service in the Army, Bacharach worked as a pianist, both as a soloist and as an
    5.00
    3 votes
    194
    Jeff Lynne

    Jeff Lynne

    • Plays Composed: Xanadu
    Jeffrey "Jeff" Lynne (born 30 December 1947) is an English songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer who gained fame as the leader and sole constant member of Electric Light Orchestra. He was later a co-founder and member of The Traveling Wilburys together with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. Lynne has produced recordings for artists such as The Beatles, Brian Wilson, Roy Orbison, Dave Edmunds, Del Shannon and Tom Petty. He has co-written songs with Petty and also with George Harrison, whose 1987 album Cloud Nine was co-produced by Lynne and Harrison. Among the many compositions to his credit are such well-known hits as "Livin' Thing", "Evil Woman", "Turn to Stone", "Do Ya", "Xanadu", "Strange Magic", "Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Telephone Line", "Shine a Little Love", "Mr. Blue Sky", "Hold on Tight", "All Over the World", and "Don't Bring Me Down". According to NNDB, Lynne has been married twice. He married his first wife Rosemary in 1970, and they divorced in 1977. His second (and current spouse) Sandi Kapelson wed Lynne in 1979. She is the mother of his two daughters, Laura and Stephanie. In 2008, The Washington Times
    5.00
    3 votes
    195

    John Farrar

    • Plays Composed: Xanadu
    John Clifford Farrar ( /ˈfɑrər/; born 8 November 1946) is an Australian-born music producer, songwriter, arranger, singer and guitarist. As a musician, Farrar is a former member of several rock and roll groups including The Mustangs (1963–64), The Strangers (1964–70), Marvin, Welch & Farrar (1970–73), and The Shadows (1973–76); in 1980 he released a solo eponymous album. As a songwriter and producer he worked with Olivia Newton-John from 1971 to 1989. He wrote her number-one hit singles: "Have You Never Been Mellow" (1975), "You're the One That I Want" (1978 duet with John Travolta), "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (1978), and "Magic" (1980). He also produced the majority of her recorded material during that time including her number-one albums, If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974), Have You Never Been Mellow (1975) and Olivia's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (1982); and he was a co-producer of Grease (1978) – the soundtrack for the film of the same name. Farrar also produced Newton-John's first United States number-one hit single, "I Honestly Love You", which was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1975. In 1969 Farrar married fellow Australian singer, Pat Carroll – formerly
    5.00
    3 votes
    196
    Duncan Sheik

    Duncan Sheik

    • Plays Composed: Spring Awakening
    Duncan Scott Sheik (born November 18, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and composer. Initially finding success as a singer, most notably for his 1996 debut single "Barely Breathing", he later expanded to compositions for motion pictures and the Broadway stage, such as the successful musical, Spring Awakening. A lay Buddhist, Sheik currently resides in New York City. After being raised by both his parents in Montclair, New Jersey and his grandparents in Hilton Head, South Carolina (of whom his Juilliard-trained grandmother taught him piano), and after graduating from Phillips Academy, Andover in 1988, Sheik studied semiotics at Brown University, and moved to Daly City. Playing for other artists, including Liz and Lisa (with Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell), Sheik also played on His Boy Elroy's 1993 album through his connections from fellow Brown alum, Tracee Ellis Ross. In 1996, Sheik released his self-titled debut album, which was certified Gold and spawned the hit single, "Barely Breathing", which itself remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-setting 55 straight weeks, enjoying success on Billboard's Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 charts, and garnering a Grammy
    5.50
    2 votes
    197

    Elmer Bernstein

    • Plays Composed: Merlin
    Elmer Bernstein (April 4, 1922 – August 18, 2004) was an American composer and conductor best known for his many film scores. In a career which spanned fifty years, he composed music for hundreds of film and television productions. His most popular works include the scores to The Magnificent Seven, The Ten Commandments, The Great Escape, To Kill a Mockingbird, Ghostbusters, and The Rookies. Bernstein won an Oscar for his score to Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) and was nominated for fourteen Oscars in total. He also won two Golden Globes and was nominated for two Grammy Awards. Bernstein was born in New York City, the son of Selma (née Feinstein) and Edward Bernstein. He was not related to the celebrated composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein; but the two men were friends, and even shared a certain physical similarity. Within the world of professional music, they were distinguished from each other by the use of the nicknames Bernstein West (Elmer) and Bernstein East (Leonard). During his childhood, Bernstein performed professionally as a dancer and an actor, in the latter case playing the part of Caliban in The Tempest on Broadway, and he also won several prizes for his painting.
    5.50
    2 votes
    198
    Queen

    Queen

    • Plays Composed: We Will Rock You
    Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of the late Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen's earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works, incorporating more diverse and innovative styles in their music. Before joining Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had been playing together in a band named Smile with bassist Tim Staffell. Freddie Mercury (then known as Farrokh/Freddie Bulsara) was a fan of Smile, and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques after Staffell's departure in 1970. Mercury himself joined the band shortly thereafter, changed the name of the band to "Queen", and adopted his familiar stage name. John Deacon was recruited prior to recording their eponymous debut album (1973). Queen enjoyed success in the UK with their debut and its follow-up, Queen II (1974), but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack (1974) and A Night at the Opera (1975) that gained the band international success. The latter featured "Bohemian
    5.50
    2 votes
    199

    William Finn

    • Plays Composed: A New Brain
    William Alan Finn (b. February 28, 1952, Boston, Massachusetts) is an American composer and lyricist of musicals. His musical Falsettos received the 1992 Tony Awards for Best Music and Lyrics and for Best Book. Finn, who is Jewish, grew up in Natick, Massachusetts with his parents and siblings, Michael and Nancy. He majored in music at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. When he graduated, he received the Hutchinson Fellowship (a musical composition award). He is also Adjunct Faculty Composer/Lyricist at New York University. In 1992, Finn suffered deteriorating vision, dizziness and partial paralysis and was rushed to the hospital. He had arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, in his brain stem. In September, 1992, he had Gamma Knife surgery, which obliterated the AVM. After the surgery, Finn experienced a year of humbled serenity and constantly felt like he had a "new brain." Finn's 2002 musical A New Brain is based on his experience with AVM and his subsequent successful surgery. He lives with his life partner in New York City and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he is a composer and writer. Besides composing for the stage and screen, Finn is member of the NYU Tisch
    5.50
    2 votes
    200

    George Burr Leonard

    • Plays Composed: Clothes
    George Burr Leonard (1923 – January 6, 2010) was an American writer, editor, and educator who wrote extensively about education and human potential. He was President Emeritus of the Esalen Institute, past-president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, President of ITP International, and a former editor of Look Magazine. He was a former United States Army Air Corps pilot, and held a fifth degree black belt in aikido. Leonard was a co-founder of the Aikido of Tamalpais dojo in Corte Madera, California. He also developed the Leonard Energy Training (LET) practice for centering the mind, body, and spirit. Leonard died at his home in Mill Valley, California on January 6, 2010 after a long illness. He was 86 years old.
    4.67
    3 votes
    201
    Alan Menken

    Alan Menken

    • Plays Composed: Beauty and the Beast
    Alan Irwin Menken (born July 22, 1949) is an American musical theatre and film composer and pianist. Menken is best known for his scores for films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. His scores for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas have each won him two Academy Awards. He also composed the scores for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Pippi Longstocking, Home on the Range, The Shaggy Dog, Enchanted, and most recently, Tangled. Menken has collaborated on several occasions with lyricists including Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, Glenn Slater, Judy Rothman, and Stephen Schwartz. With eight Academy Award wins (four each for Best Original Score and Best Original Song), Menken is the second most Oscarised winner in a music category after Alfred Newman, who has nine oscars. Menken was born in New York, NY to a Jewish family, the son of Judith and Norman Menken, a dentist. He developed an interest in music at an early age, studying piano and violin. He went to New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York. He attended college as a pre-med student, but later changed his focus to music at NYU Steinhardt. After college, he attended the BMI Lehman Engel
    6.00
    1 votes
    202

    Alex North

    • Plays Composed: Death of a Salesman
    Alex North (December 4, 1910 – September 8, 1991) was an American composer who wrote the first jazz-based film score (A Streetcar Named Desire) and one of the first modernist scores written in Hollywood (Viva Zapata!). Born Isadore Soifer in Chester, Pennsylvania to Russian Jewish parents, North was an original composer probably even by the classical music standards of the day. However, he managed to integrate his modernism into typical film music leitmotif structure, rich with themes. One of these became the famous song, "Unchained Melody". Nominated for fifteen Oscars but unsuccessful each time, North is one of only two film composers to receive the Lifetime Achievement Academy Award, the other being Ennio Morricone. North's frequent collaborator as orchestrator was the avant-garde composer Henry Brant. He won the 1968 Golden Globe award for his music to The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968). His best-known film scores include The Rainmaker (1956), Spartacus (1960), The Misfits (1961),The Children's Hour (1961) Cleopatra (1963), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Devil's Brigade (1968), and Dragonslayer (1981). He composed the music for "The Wonderful Country" in a Mexican
    6.00
    1 votes
    203
    Glen Hansard

    Glen Hansard

    • Plays Composed: Once
    Glen Hansard (born 21 April 1970 in Dublin, Ireland) is the Academy Award–winning principal songwriter and vocalist/guitarist for Irish group The Frames and one half of folk rock duo The Swell Season. He is also known for his acting, having appeared in the BAFTA winning film The Commitments, as well as starring in the film Once. His song, "Falling Slowly", from Once, co-written with his co-star Markéta Irglová, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2007, and earned him ten other major awards or nominations between 2007-08. He currently owns a summer house in Wexford, Ireland. Hansard quit school at age 13 to begin busking on local Dublin streets. He formed The Frames in 1990, and they've been staples of the Irish music scene ever since. Their first album, Another Love Song, was released on Island Records in 1991, and their most recent, The Cost, was released in 2006. Hansard came to international attention as guitar player Outspan Foster in the 1991 Alan Parker film The Commitments, after attending the New York Film Academy School of Acting. He has often stated that he regretted taking the role, because he felt it distracted him from his music career. In 2003, he
    6.00
    1 votes
    204
    Jim Steinman

    Jim Steinman

    • Plays Composed: Dance of the Vampires
    James Richard "Jim" Steinman (born November 1, 1947) is an American composer, lyricist, and Grammy Award-winning record producer responsible for several hit songs. He has also worked as an arranger, pianist, and singer. His work has included songs in the adult contemporary, rock and roll, dance, pop, musical theater, and film score genres. Beginning his career in musical theater, Steinman's most notable work in the area includes lyrics for Whistle Down the Wind and music for Tanz der Vampire. His work includes such albums as Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, and producing albums for Bonnie Tyler. His most successful chart singles include Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart", Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at All", Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)", The Sisters of Mercy's "This Corrosion" and "More", Barry Manilow's "Read 'Em and Weep" (originally released by Meat Loaf), Celine Dion's cover of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (originally released by Steinman's project Pandora's Box) and Boyzone's "No Matter What". The album Bad for Good was released in his own name in 1981. Steinman was born in New York,
    6.00
    1 votes
    205
    Richard Dworsky

    Richard Dworsky

    • Plays Composed: The Marvelous Land of Oz
    Richard A. Dworsky is one of those rare musicians who is so well rounded he can't easily be categorized. He's a classically trained pianist and composer who rocks, swings, plays great Blues and Gospel, tears it up on Hammond B3 organ and keeps up with world class pickers playing his unique "Bluegrass piano" style; who composes classical, theater, and film music; writes exquisite jazz ballads; and has the amazing ability to improvise compositions on the spot in virtually any style. For the last 19 years, he's been the pianist /music director for Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, a live radio variety show with an audience of over 4 million in the USA, as well as overseas audiences on England's BBC, Australia’s ABC, and Armed Forces Radio. On the weekly shows, Richard provides original theatrical underscoring, leads The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, and performs as a featured soloist. A regular since 1986, he has accompanied Keillor and many of his guests including: James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris, Carole King, Elvis Costello, Taj Mahal, The Everly Brothers, Yo-Yo Ma, Brad Paisley, Renée Fleming, Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor, Kristin
    6.00
    1 votes
    206
    Walter Slaughter

    Walter Slaughter

    • Plays Composed: Alice in Wonderland
    Walter Alfred Slaughter (17 February 1860 – 2 March 1908) was an English conductor and composer of musical comedy, comic opera and children's shows. He was engaged in the West End as a composer and musical director from 1883 to 1904. Slaughter was born in Fitzroy Square, London. He attended the City of London School, and sang in the choir of St. Andrew's Church, Wells Street under Joseph Barnby. After leaving school, he worked in a wine merchant's office and then for the music publishers Metzler. While there, he studied music under Alfred Cellier, Berthold Tours, and Georges Jacobi, the musical director of the Alhambra Theatre. He was also brought into frequent contact with Arthur Sullivan, who gave him much encouragement and friendly advice. Slaughter once asked Sullivan the best way to study composition; Sullivan replied, "Take off your gloves, go into the orchestra and study it there, as an engineer studies his business in the engine room." Slaughter married Luna Lauri ("Mlle. Luna"), one of the two famous dancing daughters of John Lauri, ballet-master at the Alhambra Theatre. Their daughter, Marjorie Slaughter, also became a composer. Slaughter served as the organist at St.
    6.00
    1 votes
    207
    Willy Russell

    Willy Russell

    • Plays Composed: Blood Brothers
    William Russell (born 23 August 1947) is a British dramatist, lyricist, and composer. His best-known works are Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, and Blood Brothers. Willy Russell was born in Whiston, on the outskirts of Liverpool, where he grew up. His parents worked in a book publisher's and often encouraged him to read. After leaving school with one O-level in English, he first became a ladies' hairdresser and ran his own salon. Russell then undertook a variety of jobs, also the first play he wrote was Keep Your Eyes Down Low (1971). His first success was a play about The Beatles called John, Paul, George, Ringo ... and Bert. Originally commissioned for the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool it transferred to the West End in 1974. Educating Rita (1980) concerned a female hairdresser and her Open University teacher. The semi-autobiographical Educating Rita was turned into a 1983 film with Michael Caine and Julie Walters. The musical Blood Brothers (1983), for which Russell also composed the music, first opened in Liverpool and transferred to London's Phoenix Theatre. It won the best actress award at the Lawrence Olivier awards. Bill Kenwright produced a revival in 1988 which has run for
    6.00
    1 votes
    208
    Georges Bizet

    Georges Bizet

    • Plays Composed: Carmen Jones
    Georges Bizet (French pronunciation: [ʒɔʁʒ bizɛ]) formally Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) was a French composer, mainly of operas. In a career cut short by his early death, he achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, became one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertory. During a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris, Bizet won many prizes, including the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1857. He was recognised as an outstanding pianist, though he chose not to capitalise on this skill and rarely performed in public. Returning to Paris after almost three years in Italy, he found that the main Parisian opera theatres preferred the established classical repertoire to the works of newcomers. His keyboard and orchestral compositions were likewise largely ignored; as a result, his career stalled, and he earned his living mainly by arranging and transcribing the music of others. Restless for success, he began many theatrical projects during the 1860s, most of which were abandoned. Neither of the two operas that reached the stage—Les pêcheurs de perles and La jolie fille de Perth—was immediately
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    209
    Irving Berlin

    Irving Berlin

    • Plays Composed: Annie Get Your Gun
    Irving Berlin (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian-born American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy", in 1907 and had his first major international hit, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1911. "Alexander's Ragtime Band" sparked an international dance craze in places as far away as Berlin's native Russia, which also "flung itself into the ragtime beat with an abandon bordering on mania." Over the years he was known for writing music and lyrics in the American vernacular: uncomplicated, simple and direct, with his aim being to "reach the heart of the average American" whom he saw as the "real soul of the country." He wrote hundreds of songs, many becoming major hits, which made him "a legend" before he turned thirty. During his 60-year career he wrote an estimated 1,500 songs, including the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films, with his songs nominated eight times for Academy Awards. Many songs became popular themes and anthems, including "Easter Parade", "White Christmas", "Happy Holiday", "This is the Army, Mr. Jones", and "There's No Business Like
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    210

    Jay Livingston

    • Plays Composed: Oh, Captain!
    Jay Livingston (March 28, 1915 – October 17, 2001) was an American composer and singer best known as half of a songwriting duo with Ray Evans that specialized in songs composed for films. Livingston wrote the music and Evans the lyrics. Livingston was born Jacob Harold Levison in McDonald, Pennsylvania; he was Jewish. Livingston studied piano with Harry Archer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and worked as a musician at local clubs while still in high school. He attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he organized a dance band and met Evans, a fellow student in the band. Their professional collaboration began in 1937. Livingston and Evans won the Academy Award for Best Original Song three times, in 1948 for the song Buttons and Bows, written for the movie The Paleface; in 1950 for the song Mona Lisa, written for the movie Captain Carey, U.S.A.; and in 1956 for the song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," featured in the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much. Livingston and Evans wrote popular TV themes for shows including Bonanza and Mr. Ed. They also wrote the Christmas song Silver Bells in 1951 for the film The Lemon Drop Kid as well as "Never Let Me
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    211
    Michel Berger

    Michel Berger

    • Plays Composed: Starmania
    Michel Berger (28 November 1947 – 2 August 1992), born Michel Jean Hamburger, was a very successful French singer and songwriter. He was a central figure of France's pop music scene for two decades both as a singer and as a songwriter for well-known French artists like his wife France Gall, Françoise Hardy and Johnny Hallyday. He was also romantically involved with singer songwriter Véronique Sanson in the early 1970s before he married France Gall. He died of a heart attack at the age of 44. Berger was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, the son of the famous doctor Jean Hamburger and concert pianist Annette Haas. Berger first became known to the French public in the 1960s as singer of hit song Salut les copains, after which he became record producer and songwriter for EMI and where he wrote amongst others Les Girafes for Bourvil in 1967. In the early 1970s, he moved to Warner Music where he produced the early albums of Véronique Sanson, and Allah once again in 1989. In 1973, he was responsible for producing the album Message personnel, the title track of which relaunched Françoise Hardy's career. He also produced the single Je suis moi for Hardy. Berger started writing for France Gall in
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    212

    Vincent Youmans

    • Plays Composed: No, No, Nanette
    Vincent Youmans (September 27, 1898 - April 5, 1946) was an American popular composer and Broadway producer. Vincent Millie Youmans was born in New York City in 1898, and grew-up on Central Park West on the site where the Mayflower Hotel once stood. His father, a prosperous hat manufacturer, moved the family to upper-class Larchmont, New York. Youmans attended the Trinity School in Mamaroneck, NY and Heathcote Hall in Rye, New York. Originally, his ambition was to become an engineer and he attended Yale for a short time. He dropped out to become a runner for a Wall Street brokerage firm before he was drafted to fight in World War I. He took an interest in the theatre when he produced troop shows for the Navy. After the war, he was a Tin Pan Alley song plugger for the TB Harms Company and then as a rehearsal pianist for famed composer Victor Herbert’s operettas. No, No, Nanette was the biggest musical-comedy success of the 1920s in both Europe and the USA and his two songs Tea for Two and I Want to Be Happy are considered standards. From 1927, Youmans also produced his own shows. He had another major success with Hit the Deck! (1927; including ‘'Hallelujah’'), but his subsequent
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    213
    Björn Ulvaeus

    Björn Ulvaeus

    • Plays Composed: Chess
    Björn Kristian Ulvaeus (Swedish pronunciation: [bjœːɳ ɵlˈveːɵs]; born 25 April 1945) is a Swedish songwriter, composer, musician, writer, producer, a former member of the Swedish musical group ABBA (1972–83), and co-composer of the musicals Chess, Kristina från Duvemåla, and Mamma Mia!. He co-produced the film Mamma Mia! with fellow ex-ABBA member and close friend Benny Andersson. Ulvaeus was born in Gothenburg, but as a child he moved with his family to Västervik. Ulvaeus studied business and law at Lund University after doing his military service with stand-up comedian Magnus Holmström. Prior to gaining international recognition with ABBA, Ulvaeus was a member of the Swedish folk-schlager band Hootenanny Singers, who had an enormous following in Scandinavia. While on the road in southern Sweden in 1966, they encountered the Hep Stars, and Ulvaeus quickly became friends with the group’s keyboard player, Benny Andersson. The two musicians shared a passion for songwriting, and each found a composing partner in the other. On meeting again that summer, they composed their first song together: "Isn't It Easy To Say", a song soon to be recorded by Andersson's group. The two continued
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    214
    Bono

    Bono

    • Plays Composed: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
    Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960), most commonly known by his stage name Bono (/ˈbɒnoʊ/ BON-oh), is an Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Alison Stewart, and the future members of U2. Bono writes almost all U2 lyrics, often using political, social, and religious themes. During their early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to U2's rebellious and spiritual tone. As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with members of U2. Outside the band, he has collaborated and recorded with numerous artists, is managing director and a managing partner of Elevation Partners, and has refurbished and owns The Clarence Hotel in Dublin with The Edge. Bono is also widely known for his activism concerning Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red. He has organised and played in several benefit concerts and has met with influential politicians. Bono has been praised and criticised for his activism and involvement with U2. He has
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    215
    Joe Brooks

    Joe Brooks

    Joe Brooks (born May 18, 1987) is a British singer. Brooks started out as a Myspace musician when he was 17 and gained popularity on the site while releasing two independent EPs. By 2008 he was hyped and labeled as the "Number 1 Unsigned UK Artist" on MySpace and had amassed 11 million song plays. In 2009 he signed to Jason Flom's Lava Records and Universal Republic Records, where he released his first full-length and major label album, Constellation Me, in 2010. Following his exit from Lava/Universal in 2011, he released a fan-funded independent EP, A Reason To Swim, later that year. Joe Brooks was born on May 18, 1987 in Southampton, England, the son of a trucking-business owner, and a primary-school teacher. He has an older sister and a younger brother. He grew up in Shirley, Southampton where he attended Wordsworth and St. Mark's Schools. As a child he focused on sports, beginning to play tennis when he was four years old. As a tennis player, he would play for the next twelve years, and played in competitive tournaments. He quit tennis at 16 when he had plans of going into a career of sports coaching. Besides sports, Brooks's interest in music also began at a young age, when
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    216
    Frank Osmond Carr

    Frank Osmond Carr

    • Plays Composed: In Town
    Frank Osmond Carr (23 April 1858 – 29 August 1916), known as F. Osmond Carr, was an English composer who wrote the music for some of the earliest musical comedies. Carr was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England. His parents were George Saxton Carr, a schoolmaster and Margaret Durden Carr, née Painter. He attended New College, Oxford, and Downing College, Cambridge, receiving a B.A. degree in 1883 and apparently returning to Oxford to receive a music degree there in 1884. He continued his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, earning a Cambridge M.A. and B.Mus. in 1886 and gained a doctorate in music at Oxford in 1891. Carr's first produced work (with lyricist Adrian Ross) was the burlesque Faddimir, or the Triumph of Orthodoxy at the Vaudeville Theatre in London in 1889, which gained the attention of producer George Edwardes. Edwardes began to commission songs from Carr and Ross, including a song for his next Gaiety Theatre burlesque Ruy Blas and the Blasé Roué. They next wrote the score for a burlesque of Joan of Arc, or, The merry maid of Orleans (1891), and then the songs for what many historians consider the first British musical comedy, In Town (1892). Carr also composed
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    217

    Jason Robert Brown

    • Plays Composed: The Last Five Years
    Jason Robert Brown (born June 20, 1970 in Ossining, New York) is an American musical theater composer, lyricist, and playwright. Brown's music sensibility fuses pop-rock stylings with theatrical lyrics. An accomplished pianist, Brown has often served as music director, conductor, orchestrator, and pianist for his own productions. Brown grew up in the suburbs of New York City, and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York for 2 years. During summer, he attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in Hancock, New York. He said Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Sunday in the Park with George were two of his biggest influences, and had it not been for them, he would have joined a rock band and tried to be Billy Joel. When Brown was 23, he and a friend were invited to see a musical by Stephen Sondheim himself. At the show, they sat in front of the New York Times' Frank Rich. They went to dinner, and after twenty minutes, Sondheim asked them what they thought of the show: they both were silent. Brown described the dinner after that moment as "many extremely awkward silences punctuated by bursts of frantic, desperate conversation about anything
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    218

    Mary Rodgers

    • Plays Composed: Once Upon a Mattress
    Mary Rodgers (born January 11, 1931) is an American composer of musicals and an author of children's books. She is a daughter of composer Richard Rodgers and his wife, Dorothy Rodgers, as is her sister, Linda Rodgers Emory. She attended the private girls' school Brearley School in New York City and majored in music at Wellesley College. Rodgers wrote the music for musicals and revues including Once Upon a Mattress (1959), From A to Z (1960), Hot Spot (1963), The Mad Show (1966), Working (1978), and Phyllis Newman's one-woman show The Madwoman of Central Park West (1979). A revue of Rodgers' music titled Hey, Love, conceived and directed by Richard Maltby, Jr. ran in June 1993 at Eighty-Eight's in New York City. She eventually transitioned into writing children's books, most notably, Freaky Friday (1972), which was made into a feature film (released 1977) for which Rodgers wrote the screenplay. She later explained, "I had a pleasant talent but not an incredible talent....I was not my father or my son. And you have to abandon all kinds of things." Rodgers' children's books include A Billion for Boris (1974, later republished under the title ESP TV), Summer Switch (1982), and The
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    219

    Ray Evans

    • Plays Composed: Oh, Captain!
    Raymond Bernard Evans (February 4, 1915 – February 15, 2007) was an American songwriter. He was a partner in a composing and songwriting duo with Jay Livingston, known for the songs they composed for films. Evans wrote the lyrics and Livingston the music for the songs. Evans, who was born Jewish, but later moved away from organized religion, citing it as a major cause of violence in the world was born in Salamanca, New York. He was valedictorian of his high school class, where he played clarinet in the band, and received a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1937. He was elected that same year to Pi Gamma Mu, the honor society in the social sciences for his outstanding academic performance at the Wharton School. Livingston and Evans, both members of ASCAP, won three Academy Awards, in 1948 for the song "Buttons and Bows", written for the movie The Paleface; in 1950 for the song "Mona Lisa", written for the movie Captain Carey, U.S.A.; and in 1956 for the song "Que Sera Sera", featured in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man Who Knew Too Much and sung by Doris Day. Another popular song that he and Livingston wrote for a film was the
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    220
    Elton John

    Elton John

    • Plays Composed: Aida
    Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. In his four-decade career John has sold more than 250 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. His single "Candle in the Wind 1997" has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, and is the best selling single in the history of the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, 56 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won six Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him Number 49 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Having been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996, John received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for "services to music and charitable services" in 1998. John
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    221

    Ira Gershwin

    • Plays Composed: Nice Work If You Can Get It
    Ira Gershwin (December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. With George he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows, featuring songs such as "I Got Rhythm", "Embraceable You", "The Man I Love" and "Someone to Watch Over Me". He was also responsible, along with DuBose Heyward, for the libretto to George's opera Porgy and Bess. The success the brothers had with their collaborative works has often overshadowed the creative role that Ira played. However, his mastery of songwriting continued after the early death of George. He wrote additional hit songs with composers Jerome Kern ("Long Ago (and Far Away)"), Kurt Weill and Harold Arlen. His critically acclaimed book Lyrics on Several Occasions of 1959, an amalgam of autobiography and annotated anthology, is an important source for studying the art of the lyricist in the golden age of American popular song. Gershwin was born Israel Gershowitz in New York City to Morris (Moishe) and Rose Gershovitz who changed the family name to Gershvin well before their children rose to fame (it was not
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    222

    Jerry Ross

    • Plays Composed: The Pajama Game
    Jerry Ross (né Jerold Rosenberg March 9, 1926 – November 11, 1955) was an American lyricist and composer whose works with Richard Adler for the musical theater include The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, winners of Tony Awards in 1955 and 1956 respectively in both the "Best Musical" and "Best Composer and Lyricist" categories. Ross was born Jerold Rosenberg to Russian immigrant parents, Lena and Jacob Rosenberg, in the Bronx, New York City. Growing up, he was a professional singer and actor in the Yiddish theater, where he was billed as the “Boy Star.” Following High School he studied at New York University under Rudolph Schramm. Introductions to singer Eddie Fisher and others, brought him into contact with music publishers at the Brill Building, the center of songwriting activity in New York. (Fisher later had a hit with Ross’ The Newspaper Song) Ross met Richard Adler in 1950, and as a duo they became protégés of the great composer/lyricist/publisher Frank Loesser. Their song Rags to Riches was recorded by Tony Bennett and reached number 1 on the charts in 1953. Adler and Ross began their career in the Broadway Theater with John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, a revue for which they
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    223
    Louis Armstrong

    Louis Armstrong

    • Plays Composed: The Real Ambassadors
    Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics). Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to "cross over", whose skin-color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the
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    224

    Marguerite Monnot

    • Plays Composed: Irma La Douce
    Marguerite Monnot (28 May 1903 – 12 October 1961) was a French songwriter and composer best known for having written many of the songs performed by Édith Piaf ("Milord", "Hymne à l'amour") and for the music in the stage musical Irma La Douce. As a female composer of popular music in the first half of the twentieth century, Monnot was a pioneer in her field. Classically trained by her father and at the Paris Conservatory (her teachers included Nadia Boulanger, Vincent d’Indy, and Alfred Cortot), Monnot made the unusual switch to composing popular music after poor health ended her career as a concert pianist when she was eighteen. Soon after writing her first commercially successful song, "L'Étranger", in 1935, she met Édith Piaf, and in 1940 they became the first female songwriting team in France, remaining friends and collaborators throughout most of their lives. Monnot worked with some of the best lyricists of her day, including Raymond Asso, Henri Contet, and Georges Moustaki, and she also knew and collaborated with musicians and writers like Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand, Boris Vian, and Marlene Dietrich, who gathered in Piaf's living room on a regular basis to play and sing.
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    225

    Matthew Sklar

    • Plays Composed: The Wedding Singer
    Matthew Sklar (October 7, 1973) is a Broadway composer. He was nominated for the 2006 Tony Award for Best Original Score for the musical The Wedding Singer for which he wrote the music and Chad Beguelin wrote the lyrics. He also composed the music for the Broadway musical hit Elf which broke box office records five of the nine weeks of its limited engagement at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in 2010-2011. Matthew co-produced the original Broadway cast albums for both shows. A native of Westfield, New Jersey, Sklar is the middle child of Dr. Talbot Sklar, a pediatric dentist, and Susan Sklar. He attended Edison Intermediate School and graduated from Westfield High School in 1991. He was active in the high school's music and drama programs, and also participated in the Westfield Summer Workshop. He made his Broadway debut as a composer for the new musical The Wedding Singer. He has been a pianist, conductor, and dance music arranger for many productions including Shrek, 42nd Street, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Nine and Caroline, or Change. He has been working on Broadway since the age of eighteen. He graduated with honors in 1991 from the Juilliard School Pre-College Division as a
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    226

    Michael John LaChiusa

    • Plays Composed: The Wild Party
    Michael John LaChiusa (born July 24, 1962) is an American musical theatre and opera composer, lyricist, and librettist. He is best known for musically esoteric shows such as Hello Again, Marie Christine, The Wild Party, and See What I Wanna See. He was nominated for four Tony Awards in 2000 for his score and book for both Marie Christine and The Wild Party and received another nomination for his libretto for Chronicle of a Death Foretold. LaChiusa grew up in Chautauqua, New York, the eldest of three boys in an Italian Catholic family. His parents had a "[v]ery mentally abusive" relationship; Michael was not close to his father, but was encouraged by his mother to pursue his interest in music. He taught himself to play piano at the age of seven and had little formal music training. LaChiusa was influenced early on by the music of "modern American composers" such as John Corigliano, John Adams, and Philip Glass, as well as the musical theatre composers George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Stephen Sondheim. LaChiusa graduated high school early and enrolled in a television journalism program, but he dropped out after a semester. In 1980, LaChiusa moved to New York City, where he took
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    227

    Stephen Oliver

    • Plays Composed: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
    Stephen Michael Harding Oliver (10 March 1950 – 29 April 1992) was an English composer, best known for his operas. Born in Chester, Oliver was educated at St Paul's Cathedral, Ardingly College and at Worcester College, Oxford, where he read music under Kenneth Leighton and Robert Sherlaw Johnson. His first opera, The Duchess of Malfi (1971), was staged while he was still at Oxford. Later works include incidental music for the Royal Shakespeare Company (including The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby). a musical, Blondel (1983; with Tim Rice), and over forty operas, including Tom Jones (1975), Beauty and the Beast (1984), Lady Jane (1986) and Timon of Athens (1991). Oliver also wrote music for television, including several of the BBC's Shakespeare productions (Timon among those), and some chamber and instrumental music. He was a good friend of Simon Callow who commissioned the piece Ricercare No4 for Cantabile. He also composed the score for the thirteen-hour radio dramatization of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1981. The work combined a main theme with many sub-themes, all composed within the English pastoral tradition. Oliver was a
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    228

    Al Kasha

    • Plays Composed: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    Al Kasha (born 22 January 1937) is a Brooklyn–born composer, songwriter and arranger, as well as businessman. He is most noted for his years of collaboration with songwriter Joel Hirschhorn. The two wrote and collaborated many successful songs for many musical groups such as The Peppermint Rainbow's "Will You Be Staying After Sunday". The songwriting duo won two Oscars for Best Song, "The Morning After" from The Poseidon Adventure in 1972 and "We May Never Love Like This Again" from The Towering Inferno in 1974. Along with Hirshhorn, Kasha also received two Tony nominations for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Copperfield, two Grammy nominations and an Emmy, as well as four Golden Globe nominations and a People's Choice award. They also composed the theme song to the short-lived 1990s game show The Challengers. Al is currently married to Ceil Kasha who handles Donna Summer's business affairs.
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    229

    Bob Gaudio

    • Plays Composed: Jersey Boys
    Robert John "Bob" Gaudio (born November 17, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer, and the keyboardist/backing vocalist for The Four Seasons. Born in The Bronx, New York, he was raised in Bergenfield, New Jersey, where he attended Bergenfield High School. He shot to musical fame at the age of 15 as a member of the Royal Teens when he co-wrote the hit "Short Shorts". In 1958, while he and the group were promoting the single, they met Frankie Valli and his group The Four Lovers as they prepared to perform on a local television program. Shortly afterwards, he left the Royal Teens as he was getting tired of touring; the group dissolved shortly afterwards. (Another member of the Royal Teens became a notable star on his own afterwards: Al Kooper.) One year after he "retired" from touring, Gaudio joined The Four Lovers. While commercial success was elusive, the group was kept busy with steady session work (with Bob Crewe as the producer) and a string of performances at night clubs and lounges. In 1960, after a failed audition at a Union Township, Union County, New Jersey, bowling establishment, songwriter/keyboardist Gaudio shook hands with lead singer
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    230

    Burton Lane

    • Plays Composed: Finian's Rainbow
    Burton Lane (February 2, 1912 – January 5, 1997) was an American composer and lyricist. His most popular and successful works include Finian's Rainbow and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Lane was born Burton Levy in New York City and studied classical piano as a child. At age 14 the theatrical producers the Shuberts commissioned him to write songs for a revue, Greenwich Village Follies. He was known for his Broadway musicals, Finian's Rainbow (1947) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965). He also wrote the music for the less remembered Broadway shows, Hold On to Your Hats (1940), Laffing Room Only (1944), and Carmelina (1979), the latter with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, who had also written lyrics to Lane's music for On a Clear Day and the film Royal Wedding (1951). Lane mainly wrote music for films, such as Dancing Lady, Babes on Broadway, writing for more than 30 movies. He was president of the American Guild of Authors and Composers from 1957 and for the next 10 terms, during which period he campaigned against music piracy. He also served three terms on the board of directors of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). Lane's best-known songs
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    231
    Edie McClurg

    Edie McClurg

    • Plays Composed: The Pee-Wee Herman Show
    Edie McClurg (born July 23, 1951) is an American character actress. She is known for her perky North Central dialect (or Upper Midwest accent), common to persons from Middle America. McClurg began her career with a role in the 1976 Brian De Palma horror film Carrie as Helen Shyres, one of Carrie's classmates. The following year, she was a member of the cast of The Richard Pryor Show. In 1980, she was a regular performer on The David Letterman Show in the persona of Mrs. Marv Mendenhall. She also had a role in Elvira's first motion picture, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, in which she plays the Town Council President Chastity Pariah who uses her uptight conservative views to convince the townsfolk to get rid of Elvira. She also had a minor role in Cheech & Chong's Next Movie. Having been a member of the Groundlings, she worked with fellow Groundling player, Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman, on his first play “The Pee Wee Herman Show." In 1981, Edie McClurg starred as "Hermit Hattie" in Paul Reuben's stage show The Pee-wee Herman Show. She has performed in nearly 90 movies and 55 TV episodes, usually typecast as a middle-aged, somewhat stubborn and dimwitted Midwesterner. McClurg is
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    232
    Giacomo Puccini

    Giacomo Puccini

    • Plays Composed: Master Class
    Giacomo Puccini (full name:Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini) (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒaːkomo putˈtʃiːni]; Lucca 22 December 1858 – Brussels 29 November 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Puccini was "the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi". Whilst his early work was rooted in traditional late-19th century romantic Italian opera, he successfully developed his work in the 'realistic' verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents. Puccini was born in Lucca in Tuscany, into a family with five generations of musical history behind them, including the composer Domenico Puccini. His father Michele was a music teacher and an unsuccessful opera composer, who died when Giacomo was five years old. Giacomo began to study music at the age of 16 after completing his standard education. In 1880, with the help of a relative and a grant, Puccini enrolled in the Milan Conservatory to study composition with Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti, Amilcare Ponchielli, and Antonio Bazzini. In the same year, at the age of 21, he composed his Mass, which marks the culmination of his
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    233
    Harry Connick, Jr.

    Harry Connick, Jr.

    • Plays Composed: Thou Shalt Not
    Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr. (born September 11, 1967) is an American singer, conductor, pianist, actor, and composer. He has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 16 million in certified sales. He has seven top-20 US albums, and ten number-one US jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in the US jazz chart history. Connick's best selling album in the United States is his 1993 Christmas album When My Heart Finds Christmas, which also is one of the best selling Christmas albums in the United States. His highest charting album, is his 2004 release Only You which reached No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 6 in Britain. He has won three Grammy awards and two Emmy Awards. He played Grace's husband, Dr. Leo Markus, on the TV sitcom Will & Grace from 2002 to 2006. Connick began his acting career as a tail gunner in the World War II film, Memphis Belle, in 1990. He played a serial killer in Copycat in 1995, before being cast as jet fighter pilot in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. Connick's first role as a leading man was in
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    James Taylor

    James Taylor

    • Plays Composed: Working
    James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the #3 single "Fire and Rain" and had his first #1 hit the following year with "You've Got a Friend", a recording of Carole King's classic song. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million US copies. Following his 1977 album, JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. His commercial achievements declined slightly until a resurgence during the late 1990s and 2000s, when some of his best-selling and most-awarded albums (including Hourglass, October Road and Covers) were released. James Taylor was born at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 12, 1948, where his father, Isaac M. Taylor, was a resident physician. His father was from a well-off family of Southern Scottish ancestry. His mother, the former Gertrude Woodard, had studied singing with Marie Sundelius at the New England Conservatory of Music and was an aspiring opera singer before the couple's marriage in 1946. James was the
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    Karel Čapek

    Karel Čapek

    • Plays Composed: The Makropulos Affair
    Karel Čapek (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarɛl ˈtʃapɛk] ( listen)) (January 9, 1890 – December 25, 1938) was a Czech writer of the 20th century. Born in 1890 in the Bohemian mountain village of Malé Svatoňovice to an overbearing, emotional mother and a distant yet adored father, Čapek was the youngest of three siblings. Čapek would maintain a close relationship with his brother Josef, living and writing with him throughout his adult life. Čapek became enamored with the visual arts in his teenage years, especially Cubism. He studied in Prague at Charles University and at the Sorbonne in Paris. Exempted from military service due to the spinal problems that would haunt him his whole life, Čapek observed World War I from Prague. His political views were strongly affected by the war, and as a budding journalist he began to write on topics like nationalism and totalitarianism. Through social circles, the young writer developed close relationships with many of the political leaders of the nascent Czechoslovakian state. This included Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and his son Jan, who would later become foreign secretary. His early attempts at fiction were mostly plays written with brother Josef.
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    Laibach

    Laibach

    • Plays Composed: Baptism
    Laibach [ˈlaɪbax] is a Slovenian avant-garde music group associated with industrial, martial, and neo-classical musical styles. Laibach was formed on June 1, 1980 in Trbovlje, Slovenia, at the time SFR Yugoslavia. Laibach represents the music wing of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective, of which it was a founding member in 1984. The name "Laibach" is the German name for Slovenia's capital city, Ljubljana. Laibach was formed on June 1, 1980 in Trbovlje, a mining-industry town, taking the name used during the World War II occupation of Yugoslavia for the city of Ljubljana. At the time, the group collaborated with art groups Irwin (painting) and Crveni Pilot (theatre). Since its formation, the group had been preparing their first multimedia project "Rdeči revirji" ("Red District"), aiming to provoke the current political structures in Trbovje. The performance was banned before its opening due to its "improper and irresponsible" usage of Malevich's black crosses as symbols on the posters, causing a lot of negative reaction in the media and public. The group's visual style at this earliest stage focused mainly on mining iconography, but in time, they included other symbols
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    237

    Laurence O'Keefe

    • Plays Composed: Bat Boy: The Musical
    Laurence O'Keefe (born 2 January 1965, Newcastle) is an English bassist, and has previously played in a number of bands, most notably Jazz Butcher, Levitation, Dark Star, and The Hope Blister. Since Dark Star split up, O'Keefe has toured with Sophia and Martina Topley-Bird.
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    238

    Leroy Anderson

    • Plays Composed: Goldilocks: A Musical
    Leroy Anderson (/ləˈrɔɪ/lə-ROY, not *LEE-roy; June 29, 1908 – May 18, 1975) was an American composer of short, light concert pieces, many of which were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. John Williams described him as "one of the great American masters of light orchestral music." Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Swedish parents, Anderson was given his first piano lessons by his mother, who was a church organist. He continued studying piano at the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1925 Anderson entered Harvard University, where he studied theory with Walter Spalding, counterpoint with Edward Ballantine, harmony with George Enescu, composition with Walter Piston and double bass with Gaston Dufresne. He also studied organ with Henry Gideon. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1929 and Master of Arts in 1930. Anderson continued studying at Harvard, working towards a PhD in German and Scandinavian languages. (Anderson spoke English and Swedish during his youth but he eventually became fluent in Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.) During this time he was also working as organist and choir
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    239

    Marc Blitzstein

    • Plays Composed: No For an Answer
    Marcus Samuel Blitzstein, better known as Marc Blitzstein (March 2, 1905 – January 22, 1964), was an American composer. He won national attention in 1937 when his pro-union musical The Cradle Will Rock, directed by Orson Welles, was shut down by the Works Progress Administration. He is known for The Cradle Will Rock and for his Off-Broadway translation/adaptation of The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. His works also include the opera Regina, an adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes; the Broadway musical Juno, based on Seán O'Casey's play Juno and the Paycock; and No for an Answer. He completed translation/adaptations of Brecht's and Weill's musical play Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and of Brecht's play Mother Courage and Her Children with music by Paul Dessau. Blitzstein also composed music for films, such as Surf and Seaweed (1931) and The Spanish Earth (1937), and he contributed two songs to the original 1960 production of Hellman's play Toys in the Attic. Marc Blitzstein was born in Philadelphia on March 2, 1905, the son of affluent parents. In 1928 his father Sam Blitzstein married Robert Serber's sister-in-law Madeline Leof.
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    Marvin Hamlisch

    Marvin Hamlisch

    • Plays Composed: A Chorus Line
    Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. He was one of only eleven EGOTs – those who have been awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. He was also one of only two people to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize (the other being Richard Rodgers). Hamlisch also won two Golden Globes. Hamlisch was born in Manhattan to Viennese-born Jewish parents, Lilly (née Schachter) and Max Hamlisch. His father was an accordionist and bandleader. Hamlisch was a child prodigy, and, by age five, he began mimicking the piano music he heard on the radio. A few months before he turned seven, in 1951, he was accepted into what is now the Juilliard School Pre-College Division. His first job was as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. Shortly after that, he was hired by producer Sam Spiegel to play piano at Spiegel's parties. This connection led to his first film score, The Swimmer. His favorite musicals growing up were My Fair Lady, Gypsy, West Side Story, and Bye Bye Birdie. Hamlisch attended Queens College. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967. Although Liza Minnelli's debut album included a song he
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    Mel Brooks

    Mel Brooks

    • Plays Composed: The Producers
    Mel Brooks (born Melvin James Kaminsky; June 28, 1926) is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. He began his career as a stand-up comic and as a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows. He became well known as part of the comedy duo with Carl Reiner, The 2000 Year Old Man. In middle age he became one of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, with many of his films being among the top ten money makers of the year that they were released. His most well known films include The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, History of the World, Part I and Spaceballs. More recently he has had a smash hit on Broadway with the musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers. He was married to the actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death in 2005. Brooks is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award. He is to receive the 41st Academy Award AFI Life Achievement Award in 2013. Three of his films ranked in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100
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    242
    Raimonds Pauls

    Raimonds Pauls

    • Plays Composed: Leģenda par Zaļo Jumpravu
    Raimonds Pauls (born January 12, 1936 in Iļģuciems, Riga, Latvia) is a Latvian and Soviet composer and piano player who is well known in Latvia and the former Soviet Union. Pauls was interested in music since his childhood years and attended the Emils Darzins Music School. In 1958, Pauls graduated from the Latvian Academy of Music in Professor H. Braun's piano class. At that time he was already seen as an excellent piano player, he played in restaurants, learning jazz classics and contemporary songs. From 1962 to 1965 Pauls studied composition, and from 1964 to 1971 conducted the Latvian State Philharmonic's light music orchestra, in which he was also a pianist. In 1972, Raimonds Pauls proceeded to create an ensemble of Latvian radio, from which several music groups eventually emerged. Most notably, the group "Modo", in which one of the members was Zigmars Liepiņš, achieved significant success in Latvia and other parts of the USSR. In 1985, Pauls organized more music groups on the Latvian radio, which later cooperated with newer artists to provide professional help. At about that time, Raimonds Pauls started his cooperation with Russian singers. Raimonds Pauls also had political
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    Richard O'Brien

    Richard O'Brien

    • Plays Composed: The Rocky Horror Show
    Richard Timothy Smith (born 25 March 1942), better known under his stage name Richard O'Brien, is an English writer, actor, television presenter and theatre performer. He is perhaps best known for writing the cult musical The Rocky Horror Show and for his role in presenting the popular TV show The Crystal Maze. In addition to writing The Rocky Horror Show, O'Brien also co-wrote the screenplay of the 1975 film adaptation, and appeared in the film himself as the character Riff Raff. The stage show has been in almost continuous production and the cinematic version is one of the best known and most ardently followed cult films of all time. He is also the voice of Lawrence Fletcher, the title characters' father in Phineas and Ferb. O'Brien was born Richard Timothy Smith in 1942 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. In 1951, O'Brien emigrated with his family to Tauranga, New Zealand, where his father had purchased a sheep farm. After learning how to ride horses, a skill which provided him with his break into the film industry as a stuntman in Carry On Cowboy, and developing a keen interest in comic books and horror films, he returned to England in 1964. Upon launching his acting
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    Robert B. Sherman

    Robert B. Sherman

    • Plays Composed: Over Here!
    Robert Bernard Sherman (December 19, 1925 – March 5, 2012) was an American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Richard Morton Sherman. Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into movies and animations like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, Charlotte's Web and the theme park song of "It's a Small World (After All)". Robert Bernard Sherman was born on December 19, 1925 in New York City to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Rosa and Al Sherman. Al Sherman, a songwriter, paid for Robert's hospital delivery costs with a royalty check that had arrived that day for the song "Save Your Sorrow". Al Sherman was to become a well known Tin Pan Alley songwriter. As a youth, Robert Sherman excelled in intellectual pursuits, taking up the violin and piano, painting and writing poetry. Following seven years of frequent cross-country moves, the Shermans finally settled down in Beverly Hills, California. Some of the primary schools Robert attended in Manhattan included PS 241 and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School; in California, the El Rodeo School. Throughout his
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    245
    Ronnie Dunn

    Ronnie Dunn

    • Plays Composed: Urban Cowboy
    Ronnie Gene Dunn (born June 1, 1953) is an American country music singer-songwriter, known for being one half of the duo Brooks & Dunn. In 2011, Dunn began working as a solo artist following the breakup of Brooks & Dunn. He released his self-titled debut album for Arista Nashville on June 7, 2011, reaching the Top 10 with its lead-off single "Bleed Red". Dunn was born in Coleman, Texas, and attended 13 schools in his first 12 years of school. He began school in New Mexico and finished his formal education at Abilene Christian University in 1975 as a psychology major. When Ronnie began playing bass guitar and singing with bands in clubs in the Abilene, Texas, area, the university gave him the choice of either quitting the band or the university. He chose to leave the university and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a chance at the country music scene. He lived there for many years while drawing much inspiration from local honky tonks such as Tulsa City Limits, which is prominently featured in the music video for Brooks & Dunn's hit "Boot Scootin' Boogie". While he was in college, he served as a music and youth minister at Avoca Baptist Church in Avoca, Texas. Ronnie began his musical
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    Sir Arthur Sullivan

    Sir Arthur Sullivan

    • Plays Composed: Hollywood Pinafore
    Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO (13 May 1842 – 22 November 1900) was an English composer of Irish and Italian ancestry. He is best known for his series of 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including such enduring works as H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. Sullivan composed 23 operas, 13 major orchestral works, eight choral works and oratorios, two ballets, incidental music to several plays, and numerous hymns and other church pieces, songs, and piano and chamber pieces. The best known of his hymns and songs include "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "The Lost Chord". The son of a military bandmaster, Sullivan composed his first anthem at age eight. He was selected as soloist in the boys' choir of the Chapel Royal. The Reverend Thomas Helmore, the choirmaster, encouraged Sullivan and arranged for the publication and performance of his early compositions. In 1856, the Royal Academy of Music awarded the first Mendelssohn Scholarship to the 14-year-old Sullivan, allowing him to study first at the Academy and then in Germany, at the Leipzig Conservatoire. His graduation piece was a suite of incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest.
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    247
    Stanley Keyes

    Stanley Keyes

    • Plays Composed: Dragon Slayers
    Stanley Keyes is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. Stanley Keyes began his theatre career in Baltimore performing various roles at Theatre Hopkins in the early 1970s. It did not take long for him to become associated with Corner Theatre ETC, an experimental theatre also located in Baltimore, where he continued acting as well as trying his hand at directing and, ultimately, writing plays. In 1975, his first play The Exorcism was performed as part of an evening of one-acts. This was followed up with a full-length play entitled Oil Rich in Mosby, which was noted for the richness of its dialogue. During this time, Keyes continued as both an actor and director, appearing in such works as Tiger Skin and Margeurite, and staging the highly idiosyncratic Gangsters, by Tom Thorton, first at Towson University's theatre department and then at Corner Theatre. In 1983, Keyes appeared at New York's Theatre Off Park in an off-Broadway production of The Water Hen by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, under the direction of Brad Mays. Shortly thereafter, he went to work on a screenplay with the working title of The Return of Grayson Porterhouse. In 1987, the finished script went into
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    248
    Victor Herbert

    Victor Herbert

    • Plays Composed: Sally
    Victor August Herbert (February 1, 1859 – May 26, 1924) was an Irish-born, German-raised American composer, cellist and conductor. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I. He was also prominent among the tin pan alley composers and was later a founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). A prolific composer, Herbert produced two operas, a cantata, 43 operettas, incidental music to 10 plays, 31 compositions for orchestra, nine band compositions, nine cello compositions, five violin compositions with piano or orchestra, 22 piano compositions and numerous songs, choral compositions and orchestrations of works by other composers, among other music. In the early 1880s, Herbert began a career as a cellist in Vienna, Austria, and Stuttgart, Germany, during which he began to compose orchestral music. Herbert and his opera singer wife, Therese Förster, moved to the U.S. in 1886 when both were engaged by the Metropolitan Opera. In the U.S., Herbert continued his performing career, while also teaching at the
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    249

    W. A. Mathieu

    • Plays Composed: From the Second City
    William Allaudin Mathieu (born 1937) is a composer, pianist, choir director, music teacher, and author. He studied with William Russo and Easley Blackwood, with North Indian vocalist Pandit Pran Nath for 25 years, and collaborated with Nubian master musician Hamza El Din. In the 1960s, he spent several years as an arranger and composer for Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington orchestras. Kenton's album Standards In Silhouette consists entirely of Mathieu's arrangements and revealed the young Mathieu (then 22 years of age) to be an incredibly adept manipulator of compositional materials. Mathieu was one of the founders and the musical director for the Second City in Chicago, the first on-going improvisational theater troupe in the United States, and was later the musical director for the Committee, an improv theater in San Francisco that was an off-shoot of the Second City. In the 1970s, he was on faculties of San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Mills College. Allaudin was the original director of the Sufi Choir founded in 1969 in San Francisco among followers of Samuel L. Lewis. Mathieu began recording solo piano albums in 1980, and has composed a large variety of chamber pieces,
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    250
    W. C. Handy

    W. C. Handy

    • Plays Composed: Black and Blue
    William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 – March 28, 1958) was a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues". Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a regional music style with a limited audience to one of the dominant national forces in American music. Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers. He loved this folk musical form and brought his own transforming touch to it. Handy was born in Florence, Alabama. His father was the pastor of a small church in Guntersville, another small town in northeast central Alabama. Handy wrote in his 1941 autobiography, Father of the Blues, that he was born in the log cabin built by his grandfather William Wise Handy, who became an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) minister
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