photo taken by Carla Stangenberg

Zach Redler is an award winning music theater composer whose music has been performed in concert halls, opera houses and theaters around the world.  Ben Brantley of the New York Times said, Zach’s music “transcends the expected and achieves a haunting originality...the music itself becomes a character that both connects and divides the others.”

Currently, Zach and librettist Jerre Dye are working on a new opera commissioned by the US Army Band & Chorus, Fort Worth Opera, Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera and Opera Memphis inspired by a series of interviews with veterans conducted at Walter Reed, Ft. Meade and Ft. Myer. The piece, currently titled The Falling and The Rising, is set to premier in Washington in February 2018. This past January (2017) his chamber opera Adam (libretto by J Douglas Carlson) premiered with Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center of which Anne Migdette of the Washington Post said, “Redler’s music conveyed some of the fresh beauty of an unspoiled awakening and then sang Adam back to sleep at the end”.

In May 2015, Fort Worth Opera presented Zach and librettist Mark Campbell’s opera A Song for Susan Smith as part of their FRONTIERS Festival.  The collaboration begin as a showcase piece for soprano Brittney Redler and has been performed at NYU, the Virginia Arts Festival with members of the Virginia Symphony, and a workshop at CU Boulder’s CU Now Festival. Opera Memphis commissioned and premiered Jerre Dye and Zach’s monodrama opera Movin’ Up in the World in April 2014 with subsequent performances at the National Civil Rights Museum, during African American heritage week at the University of Missouri (2015), and Mable City Opera in Knoxville. In 2014, for their work in musical theater, the American Theatre Wing awarded him and collaborator Sara Cooper the 2014 Jonathan Larson Award. Zach and Sara have written three musicals and a number of monodramas and chamber operas together.  Most notably is their musical The Memory Show, which has enjoyed acclaimed runs off-Broadway, in London, Seoul and other venues across the country. In 2012, The Weston Playhouse awarded Zach and Sara’s show Loving Leo their New Musical award, garnering them a demo produced by the grammy winning label Sh-K-Boom. In 2011, American Opera Projects awarded Zach and Sara the Van Lier Fellowship to take part in “Composers and the Voice” and develop their chamber piece Windows, which AOP subsequently produced.  Zach’s first musical Perez Hilton Saves the Universe, written in 2008 with classmates Randy Blair and Tim Drucker, won Best Musical Fringe Festival 2008 and Best Musical in the Talkin' Broadway 2008 Summer Theatre Festival Citations and has since had multiple regional productions.

In addition to his composing career, Zach has a long history teaching various aspects of music beginning in the 10th grade when he developed the curriculum for and taught the AP Music Theory.  Since 2007, Zach has served as adjunct faculty at NYU, first at Steinhart as a vocal coach and professor of a course on Contemporary Opera and later at Tisch’s Graduate Music Theatre Writing Program teaching music theory to librettists.  He has lead masterclasses and workshops at high schools and university across the country on a number of subjects, most fondly as a teaching artist with Opera America’s Music, Words, Opera program teaching teachers how to explore opera with younger students.

Zach’s work as a copyist has allowed him to collaborate with some of the most talented and successful composers/orchestrators in the music theater industry such as Steve Martin, Edie Brickell, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lippa, August Eriksmoen, Mark Bennet, BD Wong, Stephen Flaherty, Ricky Ian Gordon, Mel Marvin and Lynne Shankel. As a musicologist, Zach's research and study of Auschwitz victim Marcel Tyberg's life and music has culminated in five world premiers by the Buffalo Philharmonic and two distinguished grants, in addition to numerous performances around the world. His experience as an orchestral percussionist, piano accompanist, and conductor continue to come in handy as he sporadically performs in recitals and productions in the greater New York City area. He has also enjoyed the time he spent volunteering with organizations like Sing for Life and the music therapy department at Memorial Sloan Kettering.  In his spare time, Zach likes to run ultra marathons, practice meditation and yoga, cook for his family, and live a plant based lifestyle.