One of only a few composers to win all four major American show business awards: the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. His work on the Bernadette Peters album 'Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers and Hammerstein' from 2002 was called brilliant by some critics.
He played the clarinet all through LaGuardia Performing Arts High School and later obtained degrees from Bard College and the Juilliard School. He orchestrated the music for the classic Mel Brooks films 'Blazing Saddles' and 'Young Frankenstein,' both from 1974.
He was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2009 and was awarded the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations three times.
His wife Leigh Beery was an actress.
He and Stephen Sondheim were frequent collaborators, working on "Company" from 1970 and "Into the Woods" from 1987.