John A. McGlinn
( b. Sep 18, 1953 - d. Feb 14, 2009 ) Male
John McGlinn, a conductor and musical archivist who devoted himself to finding and recording the restored scores of early works of the American musical theatre, was found dead in his apartment on Feb. 14. It's believed the cause of death was a heart attack.
In 1987, he helped bring to the public's attention the incredible discovery, in a Seacaucus, NJ, warehouse, of the original versions of the scores of many Broadway shows, written by the likes of Kern and Gershwin. Many of these original versions had been presumed lost. "It's like opening the tomb of King Tut," he said at the time. "There are major works here that had been presumed lost forever; shows that were never revived and were assumed to have vanished off the face of the earth."
One of Mr. McGlinn's first albums was a recording of Gershwin overtures and dance music using their original orchestrations. It was released by EMI in 1987. After that, he made recordings of the complete scores (with original orchestrations) for Show Boat, Anything Goes, Brigadoon, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me, Kate and Sitting Pretty, an obscure show by Jerome Kern, a composer in which he took a particular interest.
His other studio recordings "Broadway Showstoppers," "Kurt Weill on Broadway" and "Jerome Kern Treasury" showcased obscure and well known songs from many Golden Age shows, letting modern listeners hear them as originally intended, with the cream of today's theatre talent (Brent Barrett, Judith Blazer, Judy Kaye, Rebecca Luker, Davis Gaines and more).
Mr. McGlinn — noted by the New York Times for "his ferocious tenacity as an historical scavenger" — took his dedication to early musicals to various corners of the entertainment world. He conducted original 1925 No No Nanette at the Carnegie Recital Hall, and made several radio appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for BBC Radio-3. He conducted Cole Porter's Gay Divorcee at Weill Hall in 1993. He also conducted revivals of Brigadoon and HMS Pinafore for New York City Opera.
On many of his recordings, he made vocal cameos. On Show Boat, he was a pianist at the Trocadero, when Magnolia is auditioning for a job.
Source: Playbill.com obit.