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Richard Rodgers

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Biography

Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902, Arverne, Queens, New York City – December 30, 1979, New York City) was an American composer of the music for more than 900 songs and 40 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music down to the present day, and have an enduring broad appeal.

Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch are the only persons to have won an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony Award, and Pulitzer Prize.

Life and career

Born into a prosperous Jewish family, Richard Rodgers was the son of Mortimer Rodgers, a prominent physician who had changed the family name from Rojazinsky, and Mamie Levy. Richard began playing the piano at age six. He attended P.S. 10, Townsend Harris Hall and DeWitt Clinton High School. Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, and Rodgers’s later collaborator Oscar Hammerstein II all attended Columbia University. In 1921, Rodgers shifted his studies to the Institute of Musical Art (now Juilliard).[1] Rodgers was influenced by composers like Victor Herbert and Jerome Kern, as well as by the operettas his parents took him to see on Broadway when he was a child.


Work with Hart

In 1919, Richard met Lorenz Hart, thanks to Phillip Leavitt, a friend of Richard’s older brother. Rodgers and Hart struggled for years in the field of musical comedy, writing a number of amateur shows.

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  • MusicHallofFame

    The Music Hall of Fame are delighted to induct Richard Rodgers into the Class of 1981. Congratulations. Please vist our page too see the latest inductees into the Music Hall of Fame.

    26 Aug 2012 Reply
  • feodosy

    im not a fan of Rodgers, but i like one his song - edelweiss

    29 Mar 2009 Reply
  • telarc11

    If you are a fan of Richard Rodgers, check out John Pizzarelli's new album With A Song in My Heart, where John Pizzarelli explores the catalog of Richard Rodgers. http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/83676/

    6 Aug 2008 Reply

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