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Bennett, Robert Russell
Bennett, Robert Russell

In a career spanning more than five decades, Robert Russell Bennett (1894-1981) arranged more than 300 Broadway musical scores; in musical comedy's golden era of the '20's he orchestrated up to twenty-two shows a season. Among his credits were SHOW BOAT, ROBERTA, SUNNY, ROSE-MARIE, NO, NO, NANETTE, GIRL CRAZY, OF THEE I SING, FACE THE MUSIC, CARMEN JONES, FINIAN'S RAINBOW, KISS ME, KATE, MY FAIR LADY and CAMELOT. He orchestrated seven of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musicals, including OKLAHOMA!, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I, and THE SOUND OF MUSIC; his arrangements for the 1955 film version of OKLAHOMA! earned him an Academy Award. He also orchestrated and arranged Rodgers' thirteen-hour television documentary score for VICTORY AT SEA. A classically trained composer, Bennett's prolific output of original compositions includes symphonies, sonatas, a ballet, a concerto and an opera. He is the posthumous recipient of a 2008 Special Tony Award in recognition of his historic contribution to American musical theatre.

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