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The Broadway League
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CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Broadway Dims Lights Nov. 4th In Memory Of Celebrated Composer Jerry Bock
November 04, 2010
The Broadway community mourns the loss of Jerry Bock, who passed away yesterday at age 81. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory tonight, November 4, at exactly 8:00pm for one minute.
Paul Libin, Chairman of The Broadway League and Executive Vice President of Jujamcyn Theaters, called Jerry Bock, “one of Broadway's great composers of more than a dozen memorable musicals; he also wrote the book and lyrics for many of his productions. His work will live forever on Broadway.”
Jerry Bock was an inspired musical composer who wrote the scores to such shows as Fiddler on the Roof and The Apple Tree. Jerrold Lewis Bock was born in New Haven, CT on November 23, 1928. He was raised in Flushing, Queens where he studied piano from a young age and began early compositions. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he wrote the musical Big As Life . Mr. Bock made his Broadway debut in 1955 with Catch a Star, a musical revue in which he collaborated on music and lyrics.
Jerry Bock was best known for the memorable and thoughtful score for Fiddler on the Roof , which incorporates Jewish prayer and klezmer music within a musical theater score. He also composed the shows Mr. Wonderful, The Body Beautiful, Fiorello!, Tenderloin, Never Too Late, Man in the Moon , She Loves Me, Baker Street, Generation, and The Rothschilds. He scored another musical hit in 1966 with The Apple Tree which was revived on Broadway in 2006. Mr. Bock collaborated with many notable Broadway writers, but he consistently worked with the late Joseph Stein, who wrote the book to Fiddler on the Roof, and his long-time creative partner lyricist Sheldon Harnick, also of Fiddler on the Roof.
Mr. Bock received the 1965 Tony Award ® for writing the music to Fiddler on the Roof , which also won the 1965 Tony Award ® for Best Musical. He won his first Tony Award ® for his Best Musical Fiorello! in 1960. Fiorello! also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that same year. He was nominated for She Loves Me (1964), The Apple Tree (1967) and The Rothschilds (1971).
Mr. Bock was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. In 2010, Mr. Bock became an Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Original Song — Children's and Animation category — for "A Fiddler Crab Am I," penned with Larry Hochman and Billy Aronson. It was heard on the series "Wonder Pets."
The Jerry Bock Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre was established in 1997 and continues to provide an annual $2,000 grant presented to a composer and lyricist.
He is survived by his wife, Patti, daughter Portia Bock, son George Bock and granddaughter Edie Mae Shipler.