Dave Malloy

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Dave Malloy
Dave Malloy.jpg
Malloy in 2013
Born (1976-01-04) January 4, 1976 (age 42)
Alma materOhio University
OccupationComposer, writer, performer, orchestrator, sound designer
Years active2000–present
Spouse(s)Eliza Bent

Dave Malloy (born January 4, 1976) is an American composer, who has created several theatre works, often based on classic works of literature. They include his award winning electropop opera Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, his chamber musical Ghost Quartet and his musical fantasia Preludes. Malloy is a three-time Tony Award nominee.


Malloy grew up in Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland and began making theater in San Francisco in 2000.[1] Early work included pieces with Banana Bag & Bodice, for whom has been the composer since 2002.[2]

In 2008 he composed music for Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage, a Banana Bag & Bodice SongPlay written by Jason Craig and commissioned by the Shotgun Players in Berkeley, California. Beowulf received the 2008 Glickman Award and a 2011 Edinburgh Herald Angel, and has played a number of venues and festivals, including Berkeley Repertory’s Roda Theatre, ART’s Club Oberon, Joe’s Pub, and festivals in England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia.[3]

After Beowulf, he co-created and performed in Three Pianos, a drunken romp through Schubert’s "Winterreise" (with Rick Burkhardt and Alec Duffy, directed by Rachel Chavkin) that premiered in 2010 at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, winning a Special Citation Obie Award, and had runs at New York Theatre Workshop and American Repertory Theatre.[4]

His next work was Beardo, a Russian indie rock musical based on the life of Rasputin, which Malloy wrote with Beowulf collaborator Jason Craig. It played in 2011 in San Francisco and had its New York premiere in February 2017 in a production by Pipeline Theater Company.

For Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Malloy was the composer, lyricist, orchestrator, music director and performer in the role of Pierre Bezukhov. Comet was commissioned by Ars Nova and premiered there in October 2012, directed by Chavkin; in May 2012 the show transferred to Off-Broadway playing in Kazino, a tent custom-built for the piece, first erected in the Meatpacking District and then in Times Square. In December 2015 the show played a pre-Broadway run at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The show has won an Obie Award, the 2013 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, the Off Broadway Alliance's Best New Musical Award, three Elliot Norton Awards, eight IRNE Awards, eleven Lucille Lortel Awards nominations (winning three), five Drama Desk nominations, and two Drama League Award nominations.[5][6] It opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre in October 2016 with Josh Groban as Pierre.

Ghost Quartet opened in October 2014 at the Bushwick Starr. After an extended sold out run, the piece transferred to the McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More, and has since played in a number of cities, including Edinburgh, San Francisco, and Cambridge, where it won an Elliot Norton Award. The piece is a staged concept album, about love, death, and whiskey.[7] This was followed by Preludes, a piece about Rachmaninoff and hypnosis that premiered at Lincoln Center Theater in June 2015.

Malloy lives in Brooklyn, New York. He plans future adaptations of Moby Dick and Shakespeare's Henriad.[8]

Major works[edit]

  • Octet (2019) (composer/writer); directed by Annie Tippe)
  • Dewdrops: A Requiem (2018) (composer/writer)
  • Little Bunny Foo Foo (2018) (composer; written by Anne Washburn, directed by Les Waters)
  • Preludes (2015) (composer/writer; directed by Rachel Chavkin)
  • Ghost Quartet (2014) (composer/writer/performer, with Brent Arnold, Gelsey Bell and Brittain Ashford, directed by Annie Tippe)
  • Black Wizard / Blue Wizard (2013) (co-creator/composer/Black Wizard; with Eliza Bent, directed by Dan Safer)
  • Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (2012) (composer/librettist/orchestrator/Pierre; directed by Rachel Chavkin)
  • All Hands (2012) (composer; written by Robert Quillen Camp, directed by Alec Duffy)
  • Beardo (2011) (composer; written by Jason Craig, directed by Patrick Dooley)
  • Three Pianos (2010) (co-creator/performer/sound & video designer; with Rick Burkhardt and Alec Duffy, directed by Rachel Chavkin)
  • Space//Space (2009) (composer, sound designer; with Banana Bag & Bodice)
  • Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage (2008) (composer/musical director/Hrothgar; with Banana Bag & Bodice)
  • Clown Bible (2007) (composer/lyricist/Job/Judas; directed by Maya Gurantz)
  • The Sewers (2005) (composer/sound designer; with Banana Bag & Bodice)
  • Sandwich (2003) (co-creator, with Banana Bag & Bodice)[9]

Honors and awards[edit]

He is the winner of two OBIE Awards,[10] a Richard Rodgers Award, Glickman Award, ASCAP New Horizons Award, Jonathan Larson Grant, and New Music USA Grant, a recipient of the 2009 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Theatre Directors and Designers, and the 2011 Composer-in-Residence at Ars Nova.[11] In 2017, Malloy was the recipient of Smithsonian Magazine's American Ingenuity Award for History.[12]

Year Award Cateogory Work Result
2010 Obie Award Special Citations Three Pianos Won
2012 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater Beardo Nominated
2013 Obie Award Special Citations Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music Nominated
Outstanding Lyrics Nominated
Drama League Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater Won
ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award Won
Off-Broadway Alliance Awards Best New Musical Won
2015 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music Ghost Quartet Nominated
Drama League Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Off-Broadway Alliance Awards Best Unique Theatrical Experience Nominated
2017 Tony Award Best Book of a Musical Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 Nominated
Best Original Score Nominated
Best Orchestrations Nominated
Theatre World Award Honoree
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music Beardo Nominated


Malloy is featured on the cast recordings for multiple shows, including Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Ghost Quartet, Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage, and Clown Bible.


  1. ^ Schulman, Michael. "Rocking Out to “War and Peace”". The New Yorker, June 13, 2013
  2. ^ Cote, David. "Theater in New York: Q&A with Dave Malloy". Time Out New York, March 26, 2013
  3. ^ "Beowulf". Banana Bag & Bodice. New York.
  4. ^ Soloski, Alexis. "New York Theatre Workshop Uncorks Three Pianos" Village Voice, November 24, 2010
  5. ^ Weinert-Kendt, Rob. "The Composer Wears Many Hats" New York Times, May 23, 2013
  6. ^ Cox, Gordon. "‘Here Lies Love,’ ‘Great Comet’ Shatter Records in Lortel Nominations" Variety, April 1, 2014
  7. ^ Kozinn, Allan. "Malloy’s ‘Ghost Quartet’ to Play in Chelsea’s McKittrick Hotel" NY Times, December 11, 2014
  8. ^ Amodio, Joseph. "Dave Malloy talks Tolstoy and new musical, 'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812'" Newsday, July 10, 2013
  9. ^ "Resume page". Composer's website. New York.
  10. ^ "Obie Awards". Obie Awards.
  11. ^ "Author biography page". Samuel French. New York.
  12. ^ "2017 American Ingenuity Award Winners". Smithsonian. Retrieved 2018-10-16.

External links[edit]