, President & CEO of NEW YORK CITY CENTER, announced today
that Paul Gemignani
, a name synonymous with the musicals of Stephen
Sondheim, will serve as Music Director of the Tony honored Encores! series
at NEW YORK CITY CENTER for the 2006 Season. Mr. Gemignani will succeed Rob
Fisher, who has been music director for the entire 12-year history of
Encores!. Mr. Fisher steps down after conducting the upcoming season
finale, The Apple Tree, starring Kristin Chenoweth
, Malcolm Gets
Cerveris (May 12 - 16).
Ms. Shuler stated, " We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Paul
Gemignani to the Encores! family. He is one of Broadway's great musical
minds and we are fortunate that City Center will be his new home for the
Encores! Artistic Director, Jack Viertel, added, "Rob Fisher is the soul of
Encores!, so the upcoming production of The Apple Tree will be a process of
wildly mixed emotions for all of us. Rob, however, could not be passing the
baton to a more perfect person than Paul Gemignani, who has been at the
center of so many landmark moments in the American musical theater. I've
admired him for decades, and feel extraordinarily lucky that he's agreed to
spend the next year with us. We could not possibly be in better hands."
Mr. Gemignani said, "I look forward to contributing to, and being a part of,
the next Encores! season. The work that Encores! does is unique and vital
to the American musical theater. My goal is to continue the high level of
artistry and dedication that Rob and everyone at Encores! have achieved over
the years. There are a lot of Encores! clones, but only one original."
Paul Gemignani began his extraordinary career on Broadway as musical
director of Follies in 1971. Since then, he has served in that capacity for
the following original productions: A Little Night Music; Sondheim: A
Musical Tribute; Candide (1974 revival); Pacific Overtures; Music Is; On the
Twentieth Century; Sweeney Todd; Merrily We Roll Along; A Doll's Life; The
Rink; Sunday in the Park With George; Grind; Smile; Into the Woods; Jerome
Robbins' Broadway; Crazy for You; Passion; Big; 1776 (revival); High
Society; Kiss Me, Kate (revival); The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Into the
Woods (revival); Assassins; The Frogs; and Pacific Overtures (revival). He
is the recipient of the 2001 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.
In a letter that was sent earlier this year to the Encores! subscribers, Mr.
Fisher said "This has been a difficult decision for me, but the time has
come for me to pass the baton. I feel a need to devote more of my time to a
myriad of other projects. I'll be nearby, ready to answer questions and
offer opinions to all my friends who comprise the artistic staff."
In a fittingly theatrical gesture, Mr. Fisher ends his Encores! tenure as he
began it - with productions by the very same composer and lyricist: Jerry
Bock and Sheldon Harnick ( Fiorello! and The Apple Tree).
Since 1994, NEW YORK CITY CENTER ENCORES! has celebrated the rarely heard
works of America's most important composers and lyricists. Conceived as
"concert versions," each ENCORES! season gives three scores the chance to be
heard as originally intended by their creators. The program is the
recipient of a special 2000 Tony® Honor for Excellence in the Theater, as
well as the recipient of a New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Outer
Critics Circle Award, Drama League's Outstanding Contribution to the Theater
Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Jujamcyn Theaters Award.
The landmark not-for-profit New York City Center was founded in 1943 by
Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia as Manhattan's first performing arts center, and is
now the annual New York City home to Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater,
American Ballet Theatre's fall season, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and
Manhattan Theatre Club. New York City Center is host to some of America's
and the world's most acclaimed performers and productions, and the producer
of the Tony®-honored Encores!® Great American Musicals in Concert series and
the annual Fall for Dance Festival.