a conversation with composer JEANINE TESORI


Thursday, January 21, 2016, 1:00pm


Sever 113, Harvard Yard

Jeanine TesoriPresented by: Learning From Performers
Admission Free: No Tickets Required; free and open to all Harvard affiliates and the public. Registration is closed, but some seating may be available at the door starting 15 minutes prior to start time. Admission first come, first served, subject to venue capacity.

Jeanine Tesori is the 2015 Tony Award-winning composer of “Fun Home” (which also won a Tony for Best Musical), as well as the musicals “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (2002), “Caroline, or Change” (2004) and “Violet” (1997), which was nominated for seven Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding New Musical, and won the Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and a Special Obie Citation for Tesori’s music. Tesori will discuss her career during this conversation/Q&A presented by OFA Leaning From Performers in association with Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage Company, which is presenting “Violet” January 9-February 6 at the Calderwood Pavilion in Boston’s South End.

American musical theatrer composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor Jeanine Tesori has been thrice nominated for Tony Awards for her Broadway scores: “Twelfth Night” (1998) at Lincoln Center, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (2002) at the Marquis Theatre, and “Caroline, or Change” (2004) at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. In the field of film, she has composed new songs for “The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove” (2005), “Wrestling With Angels” (the 2006 documentary about playwright Tony Kushner), “Shrek the Third” (2007), and three animated Disney DVDs (“Mulan II,” “Lilo and Stitch II,” “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”). She also wrote the scores for “Show Business: The Road to Broadway” (2007) and “Nights in Rodanthe” (2008).

Earlier in her career, Tesori was associate conductor for “The Secret Garden” (1991) and “The Who’s Tommy” (1993), also playing keyboards, and made dance arrangements for the former show and several others, including the 1995 revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” with Matthew Broderick and Megan Mullaly.

Tesori became the first woman composer in history to have two original musicals running concurrently on Broadway: “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” which ran for 903 performances, and the innovative “Caroline, or Change” with book and lyrics by Tony Kushner. The National Theatre production of “Caroline” in London’s West End received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Tesori and Kushner collaborated again in 2006 on a new translation and adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children” with Meryl Streep, produced as a part of the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park series. In the summer of 2011 their opera “A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck” premiered at Glimmerglass in Cooperstown, New York.

Tesori is the artistic director of a new concert series of Off-Broadway musicals, “Encores! Off-Center.” Her new opera, “The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me,” had its world premiere in a production by the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in December 2013 directed by Francesca Zambello. The libretto is by J. D. McClatchy, based on the children's book by Jeanette Winterson.

Support for this program generously provided by the Bernard H. and Mildred Kayden Artist in Residence Fund.