Broadway musician who won two Tony Awards for Best Conductor and Musical Director in the early 1950s. He was the founder of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in New York.
He studied music at the Cincinnati Conservatory and in New York at Juilliard. He wrote the background music for Sean O'Casey's artistic production of "Within the Gates" from 1934.
He wrote music for Harold Rome in "Call Me Mister" from 1946, which won him a Tony Award. He also conducted the premieres of several operas.
His family was residing in Jackson, Mississippi, when he was born. He and Pablo Picasso were close friends.
He conducted the music for Leonard Bernstein's "Wonderful Town," both on stage and later in the television broadcast.