"We are honored to welcome Charles," said Maxyne Lang, president of Williamson Music, in a Feb. 12 statement. "His amazing output of songs in the Broadway, Hollywood and pop arenas are a perfect fit for the classic catalogues we are privileged to represent."
Next year marks Charles Strouse's 80th birthday, and a special committee has been assembled to celebrate this milestone event, which will include productions of Strouse concert and dance works, recordings (compilations and new), and songbook folios, among other projects.
The committee's members include industry leaders from the music, stage and concert worlds, including heads of the other theatrical licensing agencies that represent some of Strouse's greatest musicals. The committee's members are Sargent Aborn (Tams-Witmark Music Library); Ted Chapin (The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization); Freddie Gershon (Music Theater International); Maxyne Lang (Williamson Music); Keith Mardak (Hal Leonard Corp.); and Karen Sherry (ASCAP). Representing the United Kingdom are John Schofield (Josef Weinberger Ltd) and Caroline Underwood (Warner-Chappell Music.)
Williamson Music, a division of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, "will tap into the parent organization's resources and various departments to fully honor the rich and vibrant Strouse music catalogue."
R&H president Ted Chapin stated, "We are delighted to have Charles' songwriting catalogue under our roof. We thrive on handling the work of great music theatre writers, and the songs Charles has written through the years feel as if they've always belonged here." Williamson Music's Maxyne Lang added, "Charles' music covers a breathtaking array of mood and feeling, and we want to celebrate it all. His song roster is amazing — and wonderful: 'Put on a Happy Face,' 'Tomorrow,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Born Too Late,' 'You've Got Possibilities,' 'A Lot of Livin',' 'Those Were the Days,' 'Blame It On the Summer Night,' 'N.Y.C.,' and 'Welcome to The Theater', to name just a few."
Strouse is considered to be a major post-Rodgers and Hammerstein theatre songwriter primarily because of two hits that are known internationally: Bye Bye Birdie and Annie.
Like his contemporary Cy Coleman, Strouse has never been afraid of pure, commercial melody.
His first Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie (1960), written with his long-time collaborator Lee Adams, won him a Tony Award and the London Critics Best Foreign Musical Award. In 1970 Applause, also with Adams, starring Lauren Bacall, achieved the same honors, and his smash hit, Annie (1977), written with lyricist Martin Charnin and librettist Tom Meehan, also won Tonys for Best Score and Best Musical, as well as two Grammy Awards.
His other musicals are All American; Golden Boy; It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman!; I and Albert; Dance a Little Closer; Charlie & Algernon; Rags; Nick and Nora; Mayor; and Annie Warbucks.
Strouse's canon also includes chamber, orchestral works and opera.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Strouse studied under Aaron Copland and Nadia Boulanger. In 1977 Strouse founded the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, through which countless young composers and lyricists have found a forum for their work.
For more, visit www.charlesstrouse.com.
A music publishing company founded by and for writers, Williamson Music was established in 1944 by the legendary duo of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (both sons of men named William). Today, Williamson Music (ASCAP) and R&H Music (BMI) represent the catalogues of Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Lorenz Hart, Irving Berlin and T. S. Eliot, among others.
Equally committed to contemporary talent, their roster also includes John Bucchino, Ann Hampton Callaway, Joe DiPietro, Ricky Ian Gordon, Adam Guettel, Sheldon Harnick, Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx, Jimmy Roberts, and David Zippel. Recent signings include Stephen Schwartz and Henry Krieger.
For more, visit www.williamsonmusic.com.