Judd Woldin

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Judd Woldin
Birth name Edwin Judd Woldin
Born (1925-05-30)May 30, 1925
Somerville, New Jersey
Died November 27, 2011(2011-11-27) (aged 86)
Manhattan, New York
Genres Musical theatre
Occupation(s) Composer

Edwin Judd Woldin (May 30, 1925 – November 27, 2011) was an American composer, most notable for his musical Raisin.

Biography[edit]

Edwin Judd Woldin was born in Somerville, New Jersey. At the age of eight, he began taking piano lessons. In high school, he was attracted to Jazz, and was even working professionally at the time.[1]

He attended Rutgers University, and received his B.A. in 1958 and his M.A. in 1960. He had started a doctoral program at Columbia University, but left to write the dance music for a Broadway musical based on James Thurber's Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated. After being on the road with Don Elliott and Lionel Hampton, he attended Black Mountain College along with Josef Albers and Heinrich Jalowetz, and would later go to University of New Mexico along with Ernst Krenek.[1]

He also joined BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, and while paired with Robert Brittan, they would begin work on Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin In The Sun. The result was Raisin. It premiered May 30, 1973 at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and would move to Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre on October 18, 1973, transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on January 13, 1975, and closed on December 8, 1975 after 847 performances. The show won a Tony and a Grammy for Best Musical and Best Original Score From a Musical.[1]

His other work includes Petticoat Lane, loosely based on the novella King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill, which premiered at the George Street Playhouse in October 1978, and would move to the Harold Clurman Theatre on October 4, 1979.[1]

Lorenzo, a musical based on Mozart librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, premiered at the George Street Playhouse in 1982. It was co-written by Richard Engquist.[1]

Little Ham was written with Engquist as well, and is based on Langston Hughes' play of the same name, and would be premiered at the George Street Playhouse in 1987 and would also play at the Westport Country Playhouse. It also was produced by Amas Musical Theatre at the Hudson Guild in 2002.[1]

In 1992, a concert version of Jonah, about the Jonah from the Old Testament, was presented at the Merkin Concert Hall and part of a festival of Jewish music presented by Jack Gottlieb. It would also be produced at the York Theatre in 2004.[1]

The Prince and The Pauper, written with Marc Elliot, was based on Mark Twain's novel of the same name, and it ran at the Peninsula Civic Light Opera in San Mateo, California. It has also been produced at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington, and at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

He died of cancer on November 27, 2011. [2]

Works[edit]

Musicals[edit]

  • 1973 - Raisin (lyrics by Robert Brittan, book by Robert B. Nemiroff and Charlotte Zaltzberg)
  • 1978 - Pettycoat Lane
  • 1982 - Lorenzo (co-librettist Richard Engquist)
  • 1987 - Little Ham (co-librettist Engquist)
  • 1992 - Jonah
  • 1993 - The Prince and the Pauper (music by Woldin and Marc Elliot, lyrics by Elliot)

Play[edit]

  • 2002 - Murder in Baker Street

Film scores[edit]

  • 1962 - Railway With A Heart of Gold
  • 1967 - Poppycock
  • 1968 - Nobody Ever Died of Old Age

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Judd Woldin Biography.
  2. ^ Bruce Weber (December 4, 2011). "Judd Woldin, ‘Raisin’ Score Composer, Dies at 86". The New York Times. 
Bibliography