Martin Charnin to Receive Inaugural ASCAP Foundation's George M. Cohan Award

The ASCAP Foundation will honor Tony Award-winning lyricist and director of Annie Martin Charnin with the first-ever ASCAP Foundation George M. Cohan Award at their 18th annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013. The invitation-only event, hosted by ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams, will be held at the Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

The George M. Cohan Award, made possible by the Friars Foundation, is presented to a multi-talented individual connected to the music industry who's had a multi-faceted career and has achieved success in a variety of roles, including, but not limited to, composing, performing, writing, directing and producing.

Martin Charnin's career in the entertainment industry began in 1957 when he created the role of Big Deal in the original company of West Side Story, for which he played the role for exactly 1,000 performances. Since then, he has been involved in over 135 theatrical, television, film and night club productions as a director, producer, composer or lyricist. He is one of the dozen people who have won Emmys, Tonys, Grammys and the Peabody Award for Broadcasting. He has yet to win an Oscar, but that might change in 2014 when the third film version of his iconic musical Annie, which he wrote with Charles Strouse, is released by Sony Pictures. He has collaborated with Mary Rodgers, Eliot Lawrence, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers, Charles Strouse, Edward Thomas and Jerome Coppersmith among others. He has written for, or directed, Fred Astaire, Ethel Merman, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margret, Jack Benny, Anne Bancroft, Betty Hutton, Sutton Foster, Catherine Zeta Jones, Bebe Neuwirth, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Chita Rivera, Jane Lynch, Tony Bennett and Jay Z, among countless others, and most recently his wife, Shelly Burch, who opened her one-woman show at 54 Below this past October. He produced and directed the television special George M, based on the musical of the same name staring, among others, Joel Grey and Bernadette Peters.

The 18th annual ASCAP Foundation Awards will also honor a wide variety of scholarship and award recipients, all of whom benefit from programs of The ASCAP Foundation. Superstar singer-songwriter Ne-Yo will receive the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award in recognition of his leadership in efforts to increase awareness of disadvantaged children in American cities.

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs for songwriters, composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.

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