Jerry Bock (born November 23, 1928) is a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning American musical theatre composer.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut and raised in Flushing, New York, Bock studied the piano as a child. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he wrote the musical Big As Life, which toured the state and enjoyed a run in Chicago. After graduation he spent three summers at the Tamiment Playhouse in the Poconos and wrote for early television revues with lyricist Larry Holofcener. He made his Broadway debut in 1955 when the pair contributed songs to Catch a Star. The following year the duo collaborated on the musical Mr. Wonderful, designed to showcase the talents of Sammy Davis Jr., after which they worked on Ziegfeld Follies of 1956, which closed out-of-town .
Shortly after Bock met lyricist Sheldon Harnick, with whom he forged a successful partnership. Although their first joint venture, The Body Beautiful, failed to charm the critics, its score caught the attention of director George Abbott and producer Hal Prince, who hired the team to compose their 1959 musical biography of former New York City Mayor LaGuardia. Fiorello! went on to win them both the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Bock’s additional collaborations with Harnick include the full scores for Tenderloin (1960), Man in the Moon (1963), She Loves Me (1963), Fiddler on the Roof (1964), The Apple Tree (1966), and The Rothschilds (1970), three contributions to Baker Street (1965), and a song for the play Never Too Late (1962).
Established in 1997, the Jerry Bock Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre is an annual $2,000 grant presented to the composer and lyricist of a project developed in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop
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