Judd Woldin (1925-2011) was born in Somerville, New Jersey, where he began piano studies at the age of eight. In his teens, he was attracted to jazz and, while still in high school, began working professionally. After stints on the road with Don Elliott and Lionel Hampton, he studied composition with Heinrich Jalowetz at Black Mountain College and later with Ernst Krenek at the University of New Mexico.
A family man by this time, Mr. Woldin decided on an academic career, completing B.A. and M.A. degrees as a fellowship student at Rutgers University and starting a doctoral program at Columbia University. However, a call to write the dance music for a broadway musical based on James Thurber's Fables For Our Time soon led to total involvement in musical theater.Joining Lehman Engel's B.M.I. Workshop, Mr. Woldin began work with lyricist Robert Brittan on an adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin In The Sun. Their musical, Raisin, opened at Arena Stage in 1973 and subsequently came to Broadway, where it won both the Tony and Grammy awards as, respectively, Best Musical and Best Original Score From a Musical for the 1973-74 season.
Since that time, Mr. Woldin has written book, music, and lyrics for King of Schnorrers, freely-based on the novella by Israel Zangwill, which ran in New York City during the 1979-80 season and was awarded the New Jersey Council on the Arts Award.
Lorenzo, a musical biography of Mozart's librettist, was presented at the George Street Playhouse in 1984 with Richard Engquist as co-librettist. In 1984, the same collaboration produced Little Ham, a musicalization of Langston Hughes' Harlem Renaissance comedy, at the Westport Country Playhouse.
A concert version of Mr. Woldin's Jonah was performed at Merkin Hall in 1992 as part of a festival of Jewish music presented by Jack Gottlieb. The following year, The Prince and The Pauper (co-music and lyrics by Marc Elliot) had a successful run at Peninsula Civic Light Opera in San Mateo, California, winning 'Best Score' award from the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle.
The Prince and the Pauper has subsequently been produced at the Starlight Theater in Kansas City; the Fifth Avenue Theater in Seattle; and the Ordway Center in St Paul.
Mr. Woldin died on November 29, 2011, in New York City. He was 86 and still writing, still working to get a show on.
To read the Mr. Woldin's New York Times obituary, please click here.
Please send all inquiries to Mark Woldin, email@example.com
telephone: (646) 201-9110.