The Kennedy Center

Andrew Gerle


The son of classical recording artists Marilyn Neeley and Robert Gerle, Andrew Gerle started his musical career as a classical pianist in the Baltimore area, appearing with local orchestras and on National Public Radio and Television. While attending Yale University, he won the Yale Symphony’s concerto competition and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artists’ Competition, and appeared as guest soloist with both orchestras. During this time, he was also invited to participate in a private competition for Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich at the Kennedy Center.
After graduating magna cum laude from Yale, he moved to New York and began work as a musical director and accompanist. Over the past 15 years, he has worked with such distinguished artists as Kitty Carlisle Hart, John Raitt, Leslie Uggams, Jennifer Holliday, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Michael Rupert, and Liz Callaway. He was selected by the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization to create a complete re-orchestration of South Pacific for a major regional production, and has worked on projects for composers including John Kander, Ricky Ian Gordon, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie.

As a musical theater composer, he is a three-time recipient of the Richard Rodgers Award for new musical writing, administered by Stephen Sondheim and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, for The Tutor, and recently won his fourth for his original musical, Gloryana. He won a 2006 Jonathan Larson Award for Meet John Doe, which had its world premiere production at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. in 2007 and was nominated for seven Helen Hayes Awards. He was also the first recipient of the Burton Lane Fellowship for Young Composers, awarded by the Theater Hall of Fame. His songs have been performed on Public Radio International, at Symphony Space, the Public Theater and the Lincoln Center Songbook series in New York, and on VH1’s Save the Music benefit.

An accomplished orchestrator and arranger, Mr. Gerle’s symphonic orchestrations of Broadway standards have been performed by the Boston Pops and over a dozen other US symphony orchestras. He created an evening of new arrangements and orchestrations for the Baltimore Symphony?s Gershwin Centennial celebration, in which he also appeared as piano soloist. His work as a musical director has taken him from off-Broadway houses to regional theaters, from Texas to Cape Cod, and from Russia to Taiwan. At 26, he was one of the youngest conductors ever to conduct a major international orchestra when he led the Seoul Philharmonic Symphonic in a series of sold-out concerts at the 3,000-seat Sejong Cultural Center. He has been a writer in residence at the Eugene O'Neill National Musical Theatre Conference and at the Sundance Theater Institute at Ucross, and a Fellow at the MacDowell Artists’ Colony in New Hampshire.

Mr. Gerle’s play, Renovations, based on the memoir by the same title, will be premiered at the White Plains Performing Arts Center in March of 2011, and his song cycle, Anacreontea: Drink Well and Sing, based on ancient Greek love poetry, was premiered by eminent American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo at London’s Wigmore Hall, also in March. His opera, The Beach (with librettist Royce Vavrek) received its premiere reading as part of New York City Opera’s prestigious VOX series in May. A CD of Mr. Gerle’s jazz arrangements of the songs of Maltby & Shire with vocalist Christa Justus was released in 2010 under the PS Classics Label. As an actor, Mr. Gerle appeared in the 2009 revival of Terrence McNally’s Master Class at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey starring Tony nominee Barbara Walsh, and has appeared in productions of Two Pianos, Four Hands. In 2010, he was heard as the “hands” of Coalhouse Walker Jr., in the Tony Award-winning revival of Ahrens & Flaherty’s RAGTIME at the Neil Simon Theater.

Mr. Gerle is the author of The Enraged Accompanist’s Guide to the Perfect Audition, which was published in 2011 by Hal Leonard (Applause Books). He recently released a CD on the PS Classics label, Throw It to the Wind: the Songs of Maltby & Shire, with vocalist Christa Justus. He is also on the faculty of Yale University, where he teaches musical theater songwriting.

Watch Past Performances

Video 9/25/2011: Andrew Gerle, Karen Ziemba and Betsy Wolfe

Writer, composer, and lyricist Andrew Gerle, a Helen Hayes Award nominee and four-time Richard Rodgers Award winner for new musical writing, performs an evening of musical theater cabaret with Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba and Betsy Wolfe, Jon Nazdin on bass, and Rex Benincasa on percussion. Part of ASCAP’s “Songwriters: the Next Generation” series.

Andrew Gerle