Monday, December 5, 2011

Composer and Musician Judd Woldin Dead at 86

Judd Woldin, who composed the score for the Tony-winning musical Raisin (based on Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun) has died at the age of 86. His son, Mark, has said that the cause was cancer. Before, during, and after his theatrical career, Mr. Woldin had a vibrant music career. As a pianist, he toured with Lionel Hampton, Don Elliott, and the Ink Spots, as well as played in the pit for the Broadway production of Hello Dolly!. He then pursued a degree in 12-tone composition studies at Black Mountain College in North Carolina before doing doctoral work in Musicology at Columbia University.

His first musical as a composer was Raisin, based on the play A Raisin in the Sun. His score was a mix of jazz, gospel, and blues, and opened in Washington before moving to Broadway in 1973. The show ran for two years and received nine Tony nominations, including one for Woldin's score, winning the Tony for Best Musical. The score and cast album went on to win a Grammy Award.

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