Composer, Choreographer, Writer, Lyricist
( b. Nov 23, 1928 New Haven, Connecticut, USA - d. Nov 03, 2010 Westchester, New York, USA ) Male
Jerry Bock who is most known as the composer for the indelible score to Fiddler on the Roof, and collaborator with longtime creative partner, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, on other shows during a prolific 15 years beginning in 1956. Fiddler contained nearly all of Mr. Bock's compositions that are familiar to the wider public, including "If I Were a Rich Man" and "Sunrise, Sunset." But among theatre fans, his scores (with lyricist Harnick) for She Loves Me, Fiorello! and The Rothschilds are equally treasured.
Bock was raised in Flushing, Queens. He studied the piano from an early age and was soon able to play complicated compositions by ear. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he wrote a musical titled Big As Life, about Paul Bunyan, which toured the state and had a run in Chicago. After graduation he spent three summers at the Tamiment Playhouse in the Poconos and wrote for early television revues with lyricist Larry Holofcener. Despite his reputation as a composer, Mr. Bock had, from early on, equal ambitions to write lyrics. He made his Broadway debut in 1955 with the revue Catch a Star, in which he collaborated on both the music and words with Holofcener and George Weiss. Mr. Bock was often lucky in his interpreters. Nearly all of his and Harnick's musicals featured a towering central performance that captured not only the spirit of the character, but of the show itself.
Mr. Bock's last major project was 1040, a musical about the tax code written with Jerry Sterner. It had a read-through in November 1997 at the Musical Theatre Lab at the University of Houston School of Theatre. Sterner ended up presenting 1040 the following year as a play.