John Kander

John Kander

John Harold Kander (born March 18, 1927 in Kansas City, Missouri) is the American composer of a series of musical theatre successes as part of the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb.

Kander attended The Pembroke Country-Day School and Oberlin College before earning a master's degree at Columbia University. He 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 "". During the auditions Kander met the choreographer, Jerome Robbins, who then suggested that Kander actually write 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. In 1965 he teamed up with Fred Ebb to write "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. In the same year rising star Barbra Streisand recorded two of the duo's songs, "My Coloring Book" and "I Don't Care Much.". It proved to be a success and launched the pair on their career. Kander and Ebb have since been associated with writing material for Liza Minnelli and for Chita Rivera, and have produced "special material" for their appearances live and on television.

The musicals "Cabaret" and "Chicago" have been made into films; the film version of "Chicago" won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Picture.

John Kander musicals

Lyrics by Fred Ebb unless otherwise noted.

*"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) - 1 song: "Winter In New York"
*"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 duo also contributed songs for the following movies:
*"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

John Kander film scores

*"Something For Everyone" (1969)
*"Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979)
*"Still of the Night" (1982)
*"Blue Skies Again" (1983)
*"Places in the Heart" (1984)
*"An Early Frost" (NBC, 1985)
*"I Want To Go Home" (1989)
*"Billy Bathgate" (1991)
*"Breathing Lesson" (CBS, 1994)
*"The Boys Next Door" (CBS, 1996)

Television projects

*"Liza!" (1970)
*"Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back" (1973) (Frank Sinatra)
*"Liza With A Z" (1973)
*"Gypsy In My Soul" (1976) (Shirley Maclaine)
*"Baryshnikov On Broadway" (1980)
*"Liza In London" (1986)
*"Sam Found Out, A Tripple Play" (1988)
*"Liza Minnelli, Live From Radio City Music Hall" (1992)

Awards

*"Tony Award" (1967, for "Cabaret")
*"Tony Award" (1981, for "Woman Of The year")
*"Tony Award" (1993, for "Kiss Of The Spiderwoman")
*"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)

They also received numerous nominations, which include five more Tony Awards, two Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards.

In 1998, The Kennedy Center honored them with a Lifetime Achievement Award.


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