Composer Ben Toth’s “beguiling” work (New York Times) has been hailed as “part of the new American songbook” by the legendary Michael Feinstein. Toth is at the forefront of new music theater/opera, bringing the rich complexity of art song to the stage. His work is as political as it is artistic; Toth’s musicals investigate contemporary political issues, question our moral responsibility to our fellow citizens, and explore how revolution happens.
Toth recently finished collaborating with Welsh poet/playwright Owen Sheers on the chamber musical adaptation of Pink Mist. Inspired by interviews with retired servicemen and their families, Pink Mist chronicles the aftershocks of war on three young soldiers and the women they left behind.
Toth is currently collaborating with writer/director Jude Christian and creative consultant Ira Glass on a music theater piece about turn-of-the-century anarchist Emma Goldman. The concept for this full-length composition derives from Toth’s Untuned Ears Hear Nothing but Discord, a song cycle with a text by Meghan Brown. Described as “moving and dangerous” by John Patrick Shanley, Untuned Ears premiered at Lincoln Center as part of In Need of Music: The Songs of Ben Toth with Lindsay Mendez as Emma Goldman.
Toth is also collaborating with Todd Almond on My Heart Is A Gun, a musical about The Troubles.
Toth recently completed Marriage and Out West, two short music theater works with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley. Toth served as the composer for a critically acclaimed production of As You Like It directed by Michael Sexton, and for Twelfth Night at the Theatre at St. Clements.
Toth also scored Josh Radnor’s indie hit Liberal Arts, a feature film starring Allison Janney, Oscar Nominee Richard Jenkins, and Elizabeth Olsen. (listen here)
Tony winners Kelli O’Hara and Steve Kazee, Grammy and Tony winner Duncan Sheik, and Tony nominees Jonathan Groff and Santino Fontana have performed and/or recorded Toth’s music.
Toth’s “Mad Girl’s Love Song” has been performed by Cheyenne Jackson at the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, Lincoln Center, and Walt Disney Concert Hall – and “everybody afterwards talks about it” (Los Angeles Magazine). (listen here) Toth’s “Come Home with Me for Christmas” (lyrics by Nell Benjamin) was performed by Melora Hardin and an 80-piece orchestra at Carnegie Hall on December 1st, 2016.
Considered a singer’s composer, Mr. Toth has worked as a musical director, arranger, and pianist for an unprecedented list of Broadway stars—Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, and Mandy Patinkin, to name a few—and has performed in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl to the Kennedy Center and London’s West End.
Toth received a BA in Modern Art and Architecture from Brown University and studied composition, voice, piano, and orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music.