Martin Silvestri and lyricist Joel Higgins have enjoyed twenty years of friendship and musical collaboration. Their first major musical The Fields of Ambrosia was given a critically acclaimed American debut at the George Street Playhouse in 1992. The overwhelming response to this “rhapsodic and reckless adventure” led to the controversial 1996 production at the Aldwich Theatre in London’s West End. The Original London Cast Recording was released on First Night Records. The teams off-Broadway musical, Johnny Guitar The Musical, which is based on the cult-Western film of the same name, had it’s premiere off-Broadway at the Century Center Theater in New York City and was honored with the 2004 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. Johnny Guitar also received four Drama Desk nominations including Best Musical, Best Lyrics and Best Score. Johnny Guitar to date has had over 50 productions throughout the United States and it has recently been translated into German in preparation for an Austrian production. Silvestri and Higgins’ most recent collaborations, Casanova ... a musical based on the life of the 18th century adventurer and a very American piece entitled Storyville set in 1910 New Orleans are currently in pre-production. Musical excerpts from both shows have just been recorded for CD and the resulting scores show the immense color and range of both their composing and lyric writing styles.
An earlier collaboration with British director and lyricist Tony Tanner resulted in several musical scores including Two Over Easy. This score is notable in that it gave us Love is Good, a song that later would become a signature recording of Mr. Silvestri’s wife, Christine Andreas. With lyricist and book writer Barry Harman, Mr. Silvestri composed the score for Every Thursday Night, a musical that probes the so-called ‘Golden Days’ of live broadcast television. His own work for television began as staff composer and lyricist for PBS’ Sesame Street and CBS’ The Captain Kangaroo Show. Several years ago, he and Mr. Higgins formalized their musical partnership by establishing their own musical production company. Along with creating music and lyrics for hundreds of television and radio commercials, clients such as Grant Tinker and Aaron Spelling have hired the team to compose themes and scores for numerous network television programs. Mr. Silvestri has composed and arranged for artists as diverse as Mel Torme, David Clayton Thomas, Luther Vandross, David Cassidy, Eydie Gorme and Patti Austin.
In New York, Martin Silvestri has served as conductor, arranger and supervisor for many companies; most notably, his successful and thorough ‘face-lifting’ of Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber’s score for the original Broadway and subsequent productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. A Grammy nominated arranger and record producer; he co-produced the Original Broadway Cast Recording on the Chrysalis label with Lloyd Weber and Rice.
Mr. Silvestri was honored several years ago to appear in concert with Ms. Andreas for the President and First Lady at the White House. They continue to appear together in concert throughout the US and Europe with Mr. Silvestri serving as conductor, arranger and sometime singing partner. In 1999, a promotional tour for Ms. Andreas’s first solo CD, Love is Good, began with a highly successful three-week engagement in The Oak Room of the historic Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Love is Good was produced and arranged by Mr. Silvestri and was re-released on the Fynsworth Alley record label. Their second CD collaboration Here’s To The Ladies... was released in 2002 on the PS Classics label to stunning national reviews including being named one of the Top Ten CDs of 2002 by USA TODAY. On December 31 of 2003, USA Today again gave Top Ten honors for his most recent production, The Carlyle Set, a sophisticated recording of contemporary standards recorded with a quartet of New York’s most outstanding jazz musicians that released in May 2004 on the Fynsworth Alley Label.