Broadway Composer-Lyricist Michael Friedman Dies at 41
"Michael brought so much joy and beauty and humor to our lives," said his sister Marion Friedman Young in a statement. "To lose him so soon is devastating. We are so grateful to the people who loved him, made art with him, and were so supportive of his work, and made it possible for Michael's extraordinary gifts to reach so many people."
Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar in a statement said "Michael Friedman was one of the most brilliant, multi-talented theater artists of our time. He was also a miracle of a human being: loving, kind, generous, hilarious, thrilling. His loss leaves a hole in the theater world that cannot be filled, and a hole in the hearts of those who loved him that will last forever."
Friedman is survived by his parents Carolyn and John Friedman, his sister Marion Friedman Young, and his nephew John Henry Young.
Alongside his writing, he served as Encores! Off-Center Artistic Director at New York City Center, co-founder of The Civilians and artist-in-residence and director of Public Forum at The Public Theater.
Michael Friedman's recent credits include the musicals Unknown Soldier, Pretty Filthy, The Fortress of Solitude, Love's Labour's Lost, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the last of which premiered at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre before arriving at The Public Theater and transferring to Broadway.
With the acclaimed company The Civilians, he has also written music and lyrics for Canard Canard Goose, Gone Missing, Nobody's Lunch, This Beautiful City, In the Footprint, and The Great Immensity, and music for Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns.
With Steve Cosson, he is the co-author of Paris Commune (BAM Next Wave Festival). Friedman has been a MacDowell Fellow, a Princeton Hodder Fellow, a Meet The Composer Fellow and a Barron Visiting Professor at The Princeton Environmental Institute. His Tedx talk, "The Song Makes a Space," can be seen on YouTube. An evening of his songs was featured at Lincoln Center's American Songbook, and "The New Yorker Radio Hour" on WNYC features his songs about the 2016 election.
He was an in residence and director of the Public Forum at The Public Theater, and received an Obie Award for sustained achievement.