Larry Blank is a composer, arranger, orchestrator and conductor who has worked in theatre, films, television and concerts. He has been nominated for a Tony Award three times, for his orchestrations of Catch Me If You Can (with Marc Shaiman), White Christmas, and The Drowsy Chaperone. In 2012 his orchestrations were performed in Singin' in the Rain at the Palace Theatre in London. Larry Blank has 3 children: two girls and a boy.
Early life and education
Blank grew up in New York City and studied drama at the High School of Performing Arts. He studied piano, and acted as a rehearsal pianist for a variety of acts, reviews, and ultimately off Bway, touring and Bway shows beginning at the age of 16.
Blank first conducted on Broadway at the age of 22, leading the orchestra part-time for Goodtime Charlie and several other shows, and also did some conducting in summer stock. He was hired as Music Director for the International Touring Co. production A Chorus Line and later They're Playing Our Song. and several other productions.
Blank moved to Los Angeles to continue his studies in orchestration and composition and to pursue orchestration work in film and television. He arranged and/or conducted for many well-known directors, including Michael Feinstein, Marilyn Horne, Michael Crawford, Christine Andreas, and Joe Williams. He was music director/arranger for various charity galas, benefits and television appearances.
Blank has orchestrated/arranged two songs for the Boston Pops tribute to Jerry Herman, orchestrated the ballet Zorro for composer Charles Fox, performed by the San Francisco Ballet. He orchestrated and arranged Let the Eagle Fly, a musical about labor organizer Cesar Chavez, and arranged two songs for American Idol.
Blank's orchestration of eight songs for the Broadway production of The Producers was acknowledged by Doug Besterman and Mel Brooks at the Tony Awards.
Blank also created orchestrations for Tommy Tune/White Tie and Tails, Three Coins in the Fountain, White Christmas and Roman Holiday at the St. Louis MUNY. He conducted during for Michael Crawford´s 1999 and 2000 concert tours in Australia and the UK. He also spent two years conducting Phantom of the Opera in Los Angeles.
Other orchestrations, co-orchestrations and arrangements by Blank include Broadway's Fame Becomes Me, the Piccadilly Theatre's Guys and Dolls, Barry Manilow's recording of Rags to Riches, La Cage aux Folles at New York's Marquis Theatre, the West End musical Beautiful and Damned, the album John Barrowman Swings Cole Porter, Deborah Voigt´s 2003 concert with the New York Philharmonic, Carousel and Fiddler on the Roof at the Savoy Theatre and The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello Theatre, A Christmas Story at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle, the International Achievement in Arts Awards in London, the UK The Sound of Music and Catch Me If You Can with Marc Shaiman.
Blank was the Music Director for Katie Couric´s Hollywood Hits Broadway and her fund-raising tribute to West Side Story. He also directed the Sondheim celebration at the Kennedy Center for Sweeney Todd. He was Music Director/Conductor and/or vocal arranger on Broadway and in Los Angeles, for They're Playing Our Song, Evita Sugar Babies, La Cage aux Folles, Phantom of the Opera, Teddy and Alice, Onward Victoria, Copperfield, and Collette.
In London Blank arranged, orchestrated or co-orchestrated the revival of Mack and Mabel, Who Could Ask for Anything More, Barry J. Mishon's The Stine Way, Mr. Wonderful, the Cole Porter Centennial, Stairway to the Stars, a live concert of My One and Only, The Fleet's In, The Tribute to MGM, the Judy Garland Tribute and Night of 100 Stars.
Blank was the conductor/arranger/orchestrator of the title song for the film Barney's Great Adventure, and he orchestrated two songs forSouth Park and was Music Supervisor/Orchestrator Mrs. Santa Claus , What's the Worst That Could Happen, The Kid, Kiss the Girls, The American President, and many other films and television shows.
Blank composed the music for the film That Championship Season. In March 1999 He conducted the 20th Anniversary Production of SWEENEY TODD at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles with Kelsey Grammer and Christine Baranski.
Blank has conducted at Carnegie Hall, and guest conducted in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia,for the New York Philharmonic, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Boston Pops, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and dozens of other well known orchestras. He is a regular guest conductor and orchestrator for Friday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio Two.
- "Talkin' Broadway Review: The Nance". talkinbroadway.com.
- "One Singular Sensation: Marvin Hamlisch". Dial Urban Milwaukee
- Ben Finn (1 December 2006). Look, The Sun Is Shining. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 142–. ISBN 978-1-4628-1576-0.[self-published source]
- D.L. Groover (12 February 2013). "Throw Back". houstonpress.com.
- "Review: Catch Me If You Can (Broadway in Chicago)". chicagotheaterbeat.com.
- Steven Suskin (2011). The Sound of Broadway Music: A Book of Orchestrators and Orchestrations. Oxford University Press. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-0-19-979084-5.
- "An Interview with Tony-nominated orchestrator and conductor Larry Blank ". Musical Criticism
- "Interview – Larry Blank". haineshisway.com.