Jonathan Tunick

Jonathan Tunick (born April 19, 1938, New York City) is an American orchestrator, musical director, and composer, one of fifteen people to have won all four major American show business awards: the Tony Awards, Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and Grammy Awards.[1] He is best known for his work with Stephen Sondheim, starting in 1970 with Company and continuing to the present day.


He graduated from Hunter College Elementary School, the LaGuardia Performing Arts High School, and holds degrees from Bard College and the Juilliard School.[1] Tunick's principal instrument is the clarinet.[2]

Much of his work has arisen from his involvement in theatre, and he is associated especially with the musicals of Stephen Sondheim.[3] Sondheim said of Tunick's work: "'I think he's tops'..." and further noted that "Tunick is a standout in his field not only because of his musicianship and imagination, but primarily because of 'his great sensitivity to theatrical atmosphere'".[4]

Tunick also has a band, the "Broadway Moonlighters", which played at Birdland in March 2012[2] and in 2008 with Barbara Cook as his special guest.[5] He has worked as an arranger and/or conductor on recordings with Judy Collins, Kiri Te Kanawa, Brian Asawa, Sir Neville Mariner, Itzhak Perlman, Plácido Domingo, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Bernadette Peters.[6] In his review of the Bernadette Peters recording Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers and Hammerstein (Angel Records, 2002), John Kenrick wrote: "Jonathan Tunick provides the brilliant arrangements."[7] Tunick won the Grammy Award as "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)/Best Background Arrangement" for his work on the song "No One Is Alone" from the Cleo Laine album Cleo Laine Sings Sondheim (RCA Victor, 1987).[8]

Tunick won the first Tony Award for Best Orchestrations that was awarded, in 1997, for Titanic.[3] "Also winning for Titanic...Jonathan Tunick, orchestration, a new category this year."[9]

In addition to the other awards, he has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations three times and won a Drama Desk Special Award in 1982.

Tunick was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in January 2009.[10]

Personal life

Tunick is married to actress Leigh Beery,[1] (also known as "Lee Beery") who appeared in the television soap opera Dark Shadows in 1971.[11]



Sources - AllMusic;[12] Internet Broadway Database[13]


Sources - AllMusic;[12] Internet Movie Database[25]


Sources - Sondheim Guide;[3] Internet Broadway Database[13]
  • 1977 Academy Award - Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score - A Little Night Music[29]
  • 1982 Emmy Award - Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction - Night of 100 Stars[30]
  • 1988 Grammy Award - Best Instrumental Arrangement, "No One Is Alone", performed by Cleo Laine[31]
  • 1994 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations - Passion[32]
  • 1997 Tony Award - Best Orchestrations for Titanic[33]
  • 1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations - Titanic
  • 2007 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations - Lovemusik[34]

See also


  1. Rothstein, Mervyn. "A Life in the Theatre: Orchestrator, Composer and Music Director Jonathan Tunick" Archived 2013-11-26 at the Wayback Machine, September 16, 2005
  2. Gans, Andrew. "Tony-Winning Orchestrator Jonathan Tunick Plays Birdland March 19; Rebecca Faulkenberry Is Special Guest",, March 19, 2012.
  3. Jonathan Tunick biography,; accessed April 17, 2012.
  4. Sharbutt, Jay. "Orchestrators", The Associated Press, May 23, 1982 (no page number)
  5. Gans, Andrew. "Tony Winner Cook Will Join Tunick at Birdland Nov. 24",; November 11, 2008
  6. Jonathan Tunick profile, June 2003; accessed April 17, 2012
  7. Kenrick, John. "Solo CD's. Bernadette Peters"; accessed April 18, 2012
  8. "Laine Sings Sondheim",; accessed April 18, 2012.
  9. Kuchwara. Michael (Byline). "Revival rakes in the awards; Tony taps 'Chicago'", Chicago Sun-Times, June 2, 1997, p. 25
  10. Gans, Andrew. "Theater Hall of Fame Ceremony Presented Jan. 26; Ivey Hosts", January 26, 2009
  11. "Leigh Beery Film and TV"; accessed October 10, 2015
  12. "Jonathan Tunick Credits", accessed April 17, 2012
  13. Jonathan Tunick Listing", Internet Broadway Database; accessed April 17, 2012.
  14. Hischak, Thomas S. "Chapter Two, A New Arena:The 1950's" Off-Broadway Musicals Since 1919 (2011), (, Scarecrow Press, Inc., ISBN 978-0-8108-7771-9, p. 43
  15. " 'All in Love' Listing" Archived 2012-10-21 at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed April 17, 2012
  16. " 'Sondheim: A Musical Tribute'",; accessed April 17, 2012
  17. " 'Smith' Listing", Internet Broadway database; accessed April 17, 2012
  18. " 'Phantom' Cast Album Listing", accessed April 17, 2012
  19. Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review; Both a Sendup and an Embrace, Based on Bergman Again" The New York Times, December 19, 1994
  20. Evans, Greg. "Patti Lupone on Broadway" Variety (, October 12, 1995
  21. " 'Minnelli on Minnelli' Listing" Internet Broadway Database, accessed April 17, 2012
  22. " 'Road Show'" Archived 2012-10-20 at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway database, accessed April 18, 2012
  23. Murray, Matthew. "Theatre Review. 'Bounce' ", November 2, 2003, accessed April 18, 2012
  24. Eadie, Bill."Regional Reviews. 'Some Lovers', Old Globe", December 10, 2011
  25. "Jonathan Tunick Listing" Internet Movie Database, accessed April 17, 2012
  26. "Cast and Crew, 'Brotherly Love'", assessed April 18, 2012
  27. " 'The B.R.A.T Patrol' Cast and Crew", accessed April 18, 2012
  28. "Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall", accessed April 18, 2012
  29. "Jonathan Tunick Listing" Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (; accessed April 17, 2012.
  30. "Awards for Night of 100 Stars" Internet Movie Database, accessed April 18, 2012
  31. "1988 Grammy Awards", accessed April 18, 2012
  32. Gerard, Jeremy. "Drama Desk Nod TO 'Perestroika';Sondheim's 'Passion' top tuner", Daily Variety, June 7, 1994, p.2
  33. "1997 Tony Awards",; accessed April 18, 2012
  34. Cox, Gordon. "'Utopia' sweeps Drama Desk Awards",, May 20, 2007.
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