|Birth name||John Harold Kander|
March 18, 1927 |
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
|Genres||Musical theatre, film, television|
|Associated acts||Kander and Ebb|
John Harold Kander (born March 18, 1927) is the American composer of a number of musicals as part of the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb. He wrote the lyrics for the stage musical Cabaret, for which he won the Tony Award as Composer and Lyricist. He and Ebb received the Kennedy Center Honors award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998.
Life and career
Kander was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and attended the Pembroke Country-Day School and Oberlin College before earning a Master's degree at Columbia University where he was a protégé of Douglas Moore and studied composition with Jack Beeson and Otto Luening. His studies were interrupted at Oberlin when he served in the Cadet corps of the United States Merchant Marines.
Kander began his Broadway career as substitute rehearsal pianist for West Side Story. The stage manager for West Side Story then asked Kander to play the auditions for her next show, Gypsy. During the auditions, Kander met the choreographer, Jerome Robbins, who suggested that Kander compose the dance music for the show in 1959. After that experience, he wrote dance arrangements for Irma la Douce in 1960.
His first produced musical was A Family Affair, written with James and William Goldman. He met lyricist Fred Ebb in 1962 and began a songwriting collaboration that would last for more than four decades. Later that year rising star Barbra Streisand recorded two of the duo's songs, "My Coloring Book" and "I Don't Care Much." In 1965, Kander and Ebb landed their first show on Broadway, Flora the Red Menace, produced by Hal Prince, directed by George Abbott, and with book by George Abbott and Robert Russell, in which Liza Minnelli made her initial Broadway appearance. Kander and Ebb have since been associated with writing material for both Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, and have produced special material for their appearances live and on television.
Kander, along with Ebb, also wrote songs for Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth, and it was set to premiere in London, but the rights were pulled by Wilder's nephew. He also says that Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, the writers of The Fantasticks, wrote a musical of Wilder's Our Town and it took them thirteen years to write, only to have the rights pulled as well by the nephew.
Kander's nephew, Jason Kander, is Missouri Secretary of State.
John Kander work
Lyrics by Fred Ebb unless otherwise noted
- Stage musicals
- A Family Affair (1962) – lyrics by William Goldman
- Flora the Red Menace (1965)
- Cabaret (1966)
- Go Fly a Kite (1966) – music and lyrics also by Walter Marks
- The Happy Time (1968)
- Zorba (1968)
- 70, Girls, 70 (1971)
- Chicago (1976)
- The Act (1978)
- Woman of the Year (1981)
- The Rink (1984)
- Diamonds (1984) – two songs: "Winter In New York" and "Diamonds Are Forever"
- And The World Goes 'Round (1991)
- Kiss of the Spider Woman (1992)
- Steel Pier (1997)
- Fosse (1999)
- Over and Over (1999) – working title: The Skin Of Our Teeth
- The Visit (2001)
- Curtains (2006) – additional lyrics by Rupert Holmes
- All About Us (2007 revision of Over and Over)
- The Scottsboro Boys (2010) (Some lyrics written by Kander himself, after Ebb's death)
The duo also contributed songs for the following movies:
- Cabaret (1972) – 12 songs (mostly originally from the musical of the same name)
- Funny Lady (1975) – 6 songs
- Lucky Lady (1976) – 2 songs
- A Matter of Time, aka Nina (1976) – 2 songs
- New York, New York (1977) – 4 songs
- French Postcards (1979) – 1 song
- Stepping Out (1991) – 1 song ("Stepping Out")
- Chicago (2002) – 15 songs (mostly originally from the musical of the same name, plus one song cut from the original show, which runs under the end credits)
- Film scores
- Something for Everyone (1970)
- Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
- Still of the Night (1982)
- Blue Skies Again (1983)
- Places in the Heart (1984)
- An Early Frost (TV film, NBC, 1985)
- I Want to Go Home (1989)
- Billy Bathgate (1991)
- Breathing Lessons (TV film, CBS, 1994)
- The Boys Next Door (TV film, CBS, 1996)
- Liza! (1970)
- Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back (1973) (Frank Sinatra)
- Liza with a Z (1972)
- Gypsy In My Soul (1976) (Shirley MacLaine)
- Baryshnikov on Broadway (1980)
- Liza In London (1986)
- Sam Found Out, A Triple Play (1988)
- Liza Minnelli, Live From Radio City Music Hall (1992)
- Tony Award, Composer and Lyricist, 1967, for Cabaret
- Tony Award , Original Score, 1981, for Woman Of The Year
- Tony Award , Original Score, 1993, for Kiss Of The Spiderwoman
- Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Lyrics, 2010, for The Scottsboro Boys
- Laurence Olivier Award, 1998, for the London production of Chicago
- Emmy Award, 1973, for Liza With A Z
- Emmy Award, 1993, for Liza Minnelli Live! From Radio City Music Hall
- Grammy Award, 1967, for Cabaret, Original Cast Album
- Grammy Award, 1998, for Chicago, Musical Show Album
- "John Kander Biography (1927-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- NewMusicBox: "Passing Through Curtains" (May 1, 2010). John Kander in conversation with Frank J. Oteri on April 7, 2010.
- Cerasaro, Pat."InDepth InterView: John Kander" broadwayworld.com, November 2, 2010
- "John Kander, Greg Pierce and Nicky Silver announced for 2013-14 Season". Vineyardtheatre.org. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- Clement, Olivia (28 Feb 2015). "New John Kander Musical Kid Victory Opens Tonight at the Signature". Playbill. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Notes for John Kander". Tcm.com. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "List of Kennedy Center Honorees". Kennedy-center.org. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- John Kander at the Internet Movie Database
- John Kander at the Internet Broadway Database
- John Kander at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Kander biography, allmusic.com