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      Richard Rodgers

      • 77
      • June 28, 1902 in New York City, New York, USA
      • December 30, 1979

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902 – December 30, 1979) was an American composer of music, with over 900 songs and 43 Broadway musicals, leaving a legacy as one of the most significant composers of 20th century American music. 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. Rodgers was the first person to win what are considered the top American entertainment awards in television, recording, movies and Broadway – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award — now known collectively as an EGOT. In addition, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, making him only one of two people to receive each award (Marvin Hamlisch is the other). Rodgers died in 1979 at the age of 77, after surviving cancer of the jaw, a heart attack, and a laryngectomy. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea. In 1990, the 46th Street Theatre was renamed "The Richard Rodgers Theatre" in his memory. In 1999, Rodgers and Hart were each commemorated on United States postage stamps. In 2002, the centennial year of Rodgers's birth was celebrated worldwide with books, retrospectives, performances, new recordings of his music, and a Broadway revival of Oklahoma!. The BBC Proms that year devoted an entire evening to Rodgers's music, including a concert performance of Oklahoma! The Boston Pops Orchestra released a new CD that year in tribute to Rodgers, entitled My Favorite Things: A Richard Rodgers Celebration. Several American schools are named after Richard Rodgers. Alec Wilder wrote the following about Rodgers: "Of all the writers whose songs are considered and examined in this book, those of Rodgers show the highest degree of consistent excellence, inventiveness, and sophistication...[A]fter spending weeks playing his songs, I am more than impressed and respectful: I am astonished." Richard Rodgers is a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame. Along with the Academy of Arts and Letters, Rodgers also started and endowed an award for non-established musical theater composers to produce new productions either by way of full productions or staged readings. It is the only award for which the Academy of Arts and Letters accepts applications and is presented every year. Below are the previous winners of the award

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