2010-11-24 / Front Page

'Fiddler On The Roof' Composer Bock Dies At 81

“Fiddler on the Roof” remains one of Bock’s most successful musicals.“Fiddler on the Roof” remains one of Bock’s most successful musicals.Jerrold “Jerry” Bock, famed composer of such Broadway musicals as “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Mr. Wonderful” and “Fiorello” died on November 3 from heart failure at the age of 81.

Bock was born in New Haven, Connecticut on November 23, 1928. Bock and his family moved to Flushing where he studied the piano from an early age and began writing music for various shows while still a student at Flushing High School. It was during this time that he experienced his first success with the musical comedy “My Dream”. As a senior at the University of Wisconsin, he scored the musical comedy, “Big as Life”, based on the legend of Paul Bunyon.

Bock is the recipient of the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Best Musical for “Fiorello”, for which he also won the Tony Award for Best Musical. He would repeat this success three more times winning Tonys for “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1964 and also “She Loves Me” and “The Apple Tree”.

However, it will be Bock’s collaboration with Joseph Stein, Jerome Robbins and Sheldon Harnick that will forever be regarded as one of the most important musical partnerships of 1960s Broadway.

Bock will be remembered for the legendary songs from “Fiddler on the Roof” including,  “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”, “Sunrise, Sunset” and the immortal “If I Was a Rich Man”.

Bock’s death came just ten days after the death of “Fiddler on the Roof” playwright Stein on October 24 at the age of 98.

 

–Jason D. Antos

 

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