Michael Friedman

Throughout the entire month of October, the acclaimed New York writer/composer Michael Friedman will be in residence.

In his work, Michael Friedman is interested in the politics of popular music, and the ways in which music reflects the intersections of different cultures, which has led him to explore fields as diverse as the music of 19th century revolutionary Paris, contemporary Evangelical megachurches, and 1970s/80s Brooklyn. His most recent work expands on this as he traces the origins and lineage of popular song, how it crosses cultures, travels across and between countries, and escapes its ethnic or economic or linguistic origins. Friedman writes: “Hong Kong, with its polyglot culture, is a perfect place for me to continue this exploration, tracing song (sea shanties, Cantonese opera, cantopop, children’s songs, etc. at the crossroads of East and West, and at the edge of empire. I hope to collect and discover and uncover the lost, the hidden, the forgotten, and the submerged.”

Related Articles  (click to read)

Occupying Paris With Revolutionary Zest, Amplified by the Cancan
— The New York Times

Michael Friedman Goes to Jail
— The London Review of Books

Composing for Shakespeare While Listening to Timberlake
— The New York Times

A Composer Finds Ideas All Over
— The New York Times

Composer Michael Friedman’s Very Big Fall
— The New York Observer

  • DateOct 2012
  • TypeComposer/Musician

Artist Bio

Michael Friedman wrote the music and lyrics for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which recently completed runs at the Public Theater and on Broadway, and received Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best New Musical and was featured on multiple top ten lists for 2010. He is a founding Associate Artist of The Civilians, and has been the Composer/lyricist for the company’s In the Footprint, This Beautiful City, [I Am] Nobody’s Lunch, Gone Missing, and Canard, Canard, Goose? He also wrote music and lyrics for Saved and The Brand New Kid. With Steve Cosson, he is the co-author of Paris Commune. His music was recently heard in the Signature Theatre’s revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and in the Public Theater’s production of Mr. Kushner’s new play, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. He was also the dramaturg for the recent Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon. A 2009-2010 Barron Visiting Professor at the Princeton Environmental Institute, he is an Artistic Associate at New York Theatre Workshop, and a recipient of a MacDowell fellowship, a Meet the Composer Fellowship, and a Princeton University Hodder Fellowship. He received a 2007 Obie award for sustained excellence.

Upcoming projects include Pretty Filthy, a musical about the adult film industry with the Civilians, an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s novel, Fortress of Solitude, and commissions from Playwrights Horizons, the Huntington Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. With Steve Cosson, he co-wrote Paris Commune, which was produced at the Public Theater in 2008 and will be produced at BAM in 2012. His music has also been heard at NYTW, the Roundabout, Second Stage, Soho Rep, Theater for a New Audience, Signature, and The Acting Company, and regionally at the Guthrie, The Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Humana Festival, ART, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and internationally at London’s Soho and Gate Theatres, and the Edinburgh Festival.

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