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Jerry Bock

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Jerry Bock


Jerrold Lewis Bock (23 November 1928, New Haven, Connecticut - 3 November 2010, Mount Kisco, N.Y.) grew up in Flushing, New York. He wrote scores for musicals in high school and teamed up with lyricist Larry Holofcener at the University of Wisconsin, winning an annual musical competition sponsored by BMI. The pair worked on revues at summer camps in the Poconos and for television, eventually moving to New York where they provided the score for Mr. Wonderful. starring Sammy Davis Jr. Two years later, Bock’s teaming with lyricist Sheldon Harnick would prove significant. Although their first effort, The Body Beautiful, closed in just a few weeks, it caught the attention of George Abbott and Harold Prince, that lead to the creation of Fiorello!, the 1959 musical about the reformist mayor of New York City. Their collaboration continued on several more musicals, but their greatest hit was Fiddler on the Roof, opening in 1964 that set a long standing Broadway record of over 3,200 performances.

The Bock-Harnick team was adept at writing music that reflected both time and circumstance. They received the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Fiorello! and the Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist for Fiddler on the Roof.

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