The ASCAP Foundation Establishes Innovative Conductors Program Honoring Marvin Hamlisch

The inaugural program will take place the first week of June 2013. Ten young aspiring musical theater conductors, will be selected. The process will culminate with each participant conducting an orchestra ensemble.

NEW YORK, NY — The ASCAP Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of an innovative new program in honor of the incomparable Marvin Hamlisch, a long-standing ASCAP member. The ASCAP Foundation Marvin Hamlisch Broadway Conductors Program, made possible by an unrestricted bequest by Hamlisch to The ASCAP Foundation, is a unique initiative aimed at aspiring musical theater conductors, by giving them hands-on experience with current Broadway professionals.

Hamlisch, a composer/arranger/conductor/pianist, died in 2012 at the age of 68. He was one of the rare individuals to have received Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy Awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize. His musical achievements encompassed musical theatre, film and television, pop and symphonic music. In 2006, Hamlisch was honored with The ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award for his lifetime of achievement in musical theatre.

As a way to celebrate his memory, The ASCAP Foundation, under the direction of David Evans, the Associate Conductor of Broadway’s Wicked, will launch The Marvin Hamlisch Broadway Conductors Program. The inaugural program will take place the first week of June 2013. Following a competitive application process, ten young aspiring musical theater conductors, ranging in age from 17–30 will be selected to participate in a 4‑day intensive workshop which will include Master Classes with Broadway conductors, musicians, performers and a visit to an orchestra pit during a live performance. The workshop will culminate with each participant conducting an orchestra ensemble.

Marvin’s widow, Terre Blair Hamlisch, commented:

I am so pleased and supportive of such a unique and needed program in Marvin’s name, especially since it gives young talent such a special opportunity. I know Marvin would have been pleased as well. Some time ago, Marvin had expressed that he had come to know what his true purpose was: that he was put on this earth to compose. As for conducting, Marvin felt it was thrilling and powerful, and that if world leaders did it, they might lose the urge to wage war.”

At the time of his death, Hamlisch was Principal Pops Conductor of the following orchestras: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Pasadena Symphony and Pops. The Dallas Symphony premiered Hamlisch’s symphonic suite The Anatomy of Peace in 1991.

Terre Blair Hamlisch with the cast of A Chorus Line.
Opening night at The Palladium, London. Feb. 2013

About The ASCAP Foundation

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. — Jim Steinblatt, March, 2013