David Friedman (composer)

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David Friedman
David Allen Friedman

(1950-05-16) May 16, 1950 (age 70)
OccupationFilm and Theater composer
Public speaker

David Allen Friedman (born May 16, 1950) is a film and theatre composer, songwriter, author, lyricist and conductor based in New York City.[1] He received a 1997 Backstage Bistro Award for Composer of the Year[2] and a 1997 Johnny Mercer Award for Songwriter of the Year,[3][4] and a Special Lifetime Achievement Award at the 26th Annual MAC Awards.[5] His oratorio, King Island Christmas, won a Frederick Loewe Award and Dramatists Guild Award.[6] David's musical Desperate Measures won the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Best Music and Best Lyrics (Peter Kellogg) as well as the Outer Critic's Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Musical and the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Musical.


Original songs[edit]

Friedman's original songs include "Listen to My Heart",[1][7] "Help is on the Way", "We Can Be Kind", "We Live on Borrowed Time", "I'll Be Here With You", "Just in Time for Christmas" (with David Zippel), and "My Simple Christmas Wish". In January 2003, Friedman published the music book Listen To My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman through his publishing firm Midder Music. The book features 63 Friedman songs, including "Listen to My Heart", "We Live On Borrowed Time", "We Can Be Kind", "Help is on the Way", "Your Love", "Trust the Wind", "My Simple Christmas Wish", and "I'll Be Here With You".[8] Following upon the book, Friedman in October 2003 debuted his musical review by the same name.[1][9][10]


Friedman was conductor of the music scores for Disney's animated features,[1] including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame,[11] and was vocal contractor for Mulan.[12] Songs written by Friedman have been featured in the Disney film Aladdin and the King of Thieves,[13] The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Bambi 2,[14][15] in the movie Salsa and in three animated television series; Happy Ness, Sky Dancers, and Dragon Flyz.[16]

Popular artists[edit]

Friedman has written songs for Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, Petula Clark, Nancy LaMott, Alison Krauss, Laura Branigan, LMNT, Jason Alexander, Laurie Beechman, Lainie Kazan, Leslie Uggams, and others.[11][17] He produced all of Nancy LaMott's recordings, many including his original compositions.[18]

Friedman is a regular on the Today Show "Everyone Has a Story" series, and partners with Kathie Lee Gifford to write a new song each month,[19] which he performs with a current Broadway star on the first Thursday of each month.[1][20][21][22]


Friedman has also worked in theatre, on several Broadway musicals, serving as musical director for such original Broadway productions such as Saravà, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Song & Dance and Beauty and the Beast.[11][23]

Friedman is the composer of 4 musicals with Tony Award Nominated book writer/lyricist Peter Kellogg.[24] Nicolette & Aucassin, based upon the 13th Century romance Aucassin et Nicolette),[25] has been produced at locations such as the Little Shubert Theatre in New York City,[26] the Westport Country Playhouse, and the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.[2]

A Christmas oratorio called King Island Christmas, written with librettist Deborah Brevoort,[27] has had over 40 productions worldwide. Friedman is also co-composer, with David Pomeranz and Kathie Lee Gifford of the new musical Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson about the life of Aimee Semple McPherson, which debuted in 2005 as Saving Aimee and reached Broadway in 2012.[28]

In 2009, he released a musical play Stunt Girl, (now titled "Front Page Girl") in association with author/lyricist Peter S. Kellogg,[11] and developed in association with the Village Theatre in Seattle, based on the life of Nellie Bly.[29][30][31] This was a project worked on together by Kellogg and Friedman for 10 years.[32]

Friedman and Kellogg's Desperate Measures, and all-verse Western musical comedy loosely based on William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure premiered Off-Broadway at the York Theatre in 2017.[33] The show was extended three times[34] and currently holds a 91% rating at Show-Score.[35]

David is currently working on Temple, a musical about the life of Temple Grandin, in collaboration with Elizabeth Dewberry.

David's Web series, "Koga and Family," in collaboration with Philip Kholos, is designed to help young children deal with everyday challenges through martial arts, meditation and kindness.


Friedman also wrote two songs for Barney's Great Adventure, the 1998 film, based the PBS Kids television series Barney and Friends.

In 2006, Friedman worked in the music department for World Trade Center, a biopic film based on the September 11, 2001 attacks starring Nicolas Cage.

The Thought Exchange[edit]

Friedman is the creator of a metaphysical method called "The Thought Exchange", and in 2011 published a book by the same name.[36] Friedman appeared in the 2012 documentary film The Thought Exchange, based on the book. The film was directed by Usher Morgan and starred Lucie Arnaz, Arje Shaw and others.[37] In his book, Friedman admits to being diagnosed with severe agoraphobia at age 20. His being hospitalized for treatment was an experience which motivated him to create the Thought Exchange concept at a later age.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Friedman's romantic partner since 2003 is Shawn Moninger, a four time MAC Award-winning technical director, Unity minister, and emerging cabaret performer.[39] They live in Connecticut.[40]


  1. ^ a b c d e Fleming, John (August 17, 2011). "A heart worth a listen at Stageworks". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth (June 29, 2005). "Chasing Nicolette, Friedman & Kellogg's Romantic Musical Adventure, To Land at Little Shubert in Fall". Playbill. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  3. ^ Berry, Heather. "Cabaret Legend Margaret Whiting Hosts a Tribute to Johnny Mercer". May 23, 1997. UCLA. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "Bistro Awards Hall of Fame". Bistro Awards. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  5. ^ "MAC gets a shout out on the Today Show!". MAC Awards. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  6. ^ Frank, Jonathan. "Cabaret: Interview with David Friedman". Talkin' Broadway. talkinbroadway.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  7. ^ Weber, Bruce (October 31, 2003). "THEATER IN REVIEW; 'Listen to My Heart' - 'The Songs of David Friedman' - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Murray, Matthew. "Listen to His Heart: David Friedman Song Book Now Available". January 16, 2003. Theater Mania. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  9. ^ Bessman, Jim (November 29, 2003). "Friedman Relies on Singers to Channel Tunes". Billboard. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew (July 25, 2003). "Listen to My Heart Revue Celebrates Composer David Friedman Upstairs at Studio 54". Playbill. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d Gans, Andrew (September 11, 2003). "Casting Complete for David Friedman Revue, Listen to My Heart". Playbill. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  12. ^ "Mulan Cast & Crew List". Big Cartoon Database. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  13. ^ "Aladdin And The King Of Thieves Soundtrack - Scott Barnes, Don Bradford, Merwin Foard, David Friedman, Gilbert Gottfried, Paul Kandel, Peter Samuel, Gordon Lyrics". Allthelyrics.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  14. ^ Szatmary, Peter (January 14, 2005). "Songwriter looks for links to audience". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  15. ^ staff (January 3, 2008). "Lucie Arnaz, Disney musician perform for Summer Theatre". New Canaan Advertiser. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  16. ^ "Happy-ness". Agebrands.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  17. ^ "Barry Manilow Topics Page". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  18. ^ "Welcome". Nancy LaMott. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  19. ^ "allDAY - Kathie Lee on her new book 'The Legend of Messy M'Cheany'". Allday.today.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  20. ^ Gans, Andrew (August 29, 2011). "Karen Mason Will Debut New David Friedman/Kathie Lee Gifford Song on TV". Playbill. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  21. ^ Lauer-Williams, Kathy (May 5, 2011). "Bethlehem Township boy appears on Today Show's "Everyone Has a Story"". The Morning Call. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  22. ^ "Vocals". Allegro Music. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  23. ^ Friedman, David. Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman. New York: Midder Music, 2002. p. vi
  24. ^ "New Musicals by Brown, Spencer, Spangler, Friedman, Kellogg, Warrender Heard in Seattle-Area Festival Aug. 4-7". Playbill.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew (October 9, 2003). "Listen to His Heart: David Friedman Revue Begins Previews Oct. 9". Playbill. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  26. ^ Joy, Cara (June 28, 2005). "Medieval Musical Chasing Nicolette to Play Off-B'way's Little Shubert". broadway.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  27. ^ "David Friedman". King Island Christmas. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  28. ^ "Kathie Lee Gifford Musical Saving Aimee to Be Resurrected at 5th Avenue Theatre; Season Announced". Playbill.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  29. ^ Hart, John (March 18, 2009). "Musical "Stunt Girl" remembers the momentous life of pioneering reporter Nellie Bly". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  30. ^ Hughes, David Edward. "Village Theatre premieres a Snappy Stunt Girl". March 28, 2009. Talkin' Broadway. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  31. ^ Truzzi, Gianni (March 12, 2009). "New Village Theatre musical celebrates the original 'Stunt Girl' journalist, Nellie Bly". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  32. ^ staff (March 19, 2009). "'Stunt Girl' comes to life on Issaquah stage". Issaquah Reporter. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  33. ^ http://www.playbill.com/production/desperate-measures-york-theatre-saint-peters-2017-2018
  34. ^ http://www.playbill.com/article/desperate-measures-musical-extends-for-third-time-off-broadway
  35. ^ https://www.show-score.com/off-broadway-shows/desperate-measures
  36. ^ The Thought Exchange, Paperback, ISBN 978-0-578-07790-1
  37. ^ "New Teaser Trailer for THE THOUGHT EXCHANGE film was released". Library Tales Publishing. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  38. ^ Friedman, David (2011). The Thought Exchange. Library Tales Publishing. pp. 31–33. ISBN 0-578-07790-6.
  39. ^ Victoria Ordin. "BWW Review: Because He Can, Shawn Moninger Presents Cabaret Filled with Humor, Heart and Spirituality at the Metropolitan Room." Broadway World March 4, 2016. https://www.broadwayworld.com/cabaret/article/BWW-Review-Because-He-Can-Shawn-Moninger-Presents-Cabaret-Filled-with-Humor-Heart-and-Spirituality-at-the-Metropolitan-Room-20160304
  40. ^ http://t2conline.com/my-view-rev-shawn-moninger-has-a-new-residence-and-david-friedman-is-a-visitor/

External links[edit]