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November 23: Fiddler and Fiorello!

November 23, 2013
jerry_bock_a_lJerry Bock, who composed the music for Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!, among other hit shows, was born in New Haven on this date in 1928. He wrote his first musical while attending Flushing High School and another, which toured and reached the Chicago stage, while he was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin. Bock and his lyricist partner Sheldon Harnick received a Tony as well as a Pulitzer for their 1959 musical Fiorello! and seven Tony Awards in all. Their other collaborations included Tenderloin (1960), Man in the Moon (1963), She Loves Me (1963), The Apple Tree (1966), and The Rothschilds (1970). Their partnership dissolved in 1970, however, over disagreements about The Rothschilds’ director, and Bock’s career effectively came to an end for forty years until his death at 81 in 2010. Bock was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. “The whole score [of Fiddler] somehow received an appreciation without one particular number stepping out from it.” —Jerry Bock