Broadway conductor Milton Greene, whose baton guided shows by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, including the rueful opening strains of a violin in Fiddler on the Roof, died May 27 in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times reported the cause of death as complications from a stroke. Mr. Greene, who was a musical director, composer, arranger and pianist over the years, was 87.
He served as musical director and/or vocal arranger for such Broadway musicals as Fiorello!, The Rothschilds, The Body Beautiful and Fiddler (all by Bock and Harnick), plus many more.
Mr. Greene was born in New York City and attended Long Island University and New York University. He studied orchestration with Philip James, piano with Modena Scovill and conducting with Warren Erb and Myron Levite in New York City.
Mr. Greene was also a nightclub pianist and arranger. Between 1948-60 he was musical director for a series of experimental shows at the Tamiment Summer Theatre in Pennsylvania. He was a pianist for The Pajama Game and Bells Are Ringing and musical-directed and arranged vocals for a 1955 Broadway revue, Catch a Star. He was composer and vocal arranger for Joyride, a 1956 revue that played in Hollywood. Mr. Greene was also pianist and musical director for the 1958 version of the revue, A Party With Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
The Los Angeles Times reported he conducted such shows as Evita and The Music Man for the San Diego Light Opera Company outdoors in Balboa Park 1984-89.
He also worked in radio and television.
-- By Kenneth Jones