Adam Wachter is a composer, lyricist, and music director, and is the recipient of the 2018 Stiles + Drewe Prize for songwriting. He wrote both the score and screenplay for the award-winning short film “Sign,” and his original musical Tarrytown won the 2017 San Diego Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Musical. Adam has created music for the series “Wacky Races,” “The Battery’s Down,” and “Submissions Only,” and his music-directing credits include the New York productions of Old Jews Telling Jokes, Carrie, Unlock’d, and Yank!, as well as shows at regional theaters – including the Old Globe, Signature Theatre, Barrington Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, Bay Street, Pittsburgh CLO, The Wallis Annenberg, Weston Playhouse, and more – throughout the U.S.. He was featured conducting Into the Woods on the primetime ABC television special “Encore!," hosted by Kristen Bell, and his Broadway keyboard credits include War Paint, Allegiance, Finding Neverland, Peter Pan, and The Addams Family. Adam received his BTA from the University of Michigan and his MA from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is currently on the faculty of Point Park University’s musical theatre department in Pittsburgh. Visit adamwachter.com to learn more.
Adam Wachter is a composer, lyricist, music director, arranger, orchestrator, and pianist, recently featured conducting Into the Woods on ABC as the Music Director of Kristen Bell's primetime special "Encore!". His song "You and Me" won the 2018 Stiles + Drewe Prize for Best New Song, and his original ballet "Lincoln Square" premiered at the Vail Dance Festival and the Kennedy Center featuring NYCBallet's Tiler Peck in her debut as a choreographer. His original musical Tarrytown, a modern-day adaptation of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” for which Adam wrote music, book, and lyrics, had its world premiere production at Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company in San Diego and won the 2017 San Diego Critics' Circle Craig Noel Award for Best New Musical. James Hebert of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote, in his review, "Wachter makes it work pretty wonderfully, with a lyrical and gracefully flowing score, often witty lyrics and a savvy way of updating Irving’s characters without shoehorning them into some contrived-feeling story." Tarrytown recently presented a reading under the auspices of MCC Theatre, directed by two-time Tony nominee Michael Arden and starring Jeremy Jordan, Krysta Rodriguez, and Andy Mientus. Adam's musical Sundown Town premiered in 2018 at the Tristan Bates Theater in London's West End, and concerts of Adam's original music and lyrics were produced in New York at 54 Below and in Los Angeles at Rockwell Table & Stage.
The 2016 short film “Sign,” for which Adam wrote both score and screenplay, made its world premiere in the summer of 2016 in the OutFest LGBT Film Festival in Los Angeles. It went on to screen in over thirty film festivals all over the world, winning several prizes including the Youth Jury Award at the Iris Prize Festival, Best Narrative Short at NewFest, and the jury award for Best Short at Shout!, among others. Adam also produced the film along with director Andrew Keenan-Bolger. His original children’s audio musical “Denny the Dinosaur: Hear Me Roar,” written and composed with vocal arranger AnnMarie Milazzo, won the 2016 Parents’ Choice Award for Storytelling. In 2013, he completed his first full-length film score on Jake Wilson’s comedy “Are You Joking.” Also in 2013, he orchestrated the score for the PBS Great Performances documentary “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” directed by Michael Kantor (“Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Broadway: The American Musical”). He also composed and orchestrated the theme song and score for the smash hit web series “Submissions Only” and several pieces of score for Sour Patch Kids’ “Breaking Out” YouTube campaign series.
Adam is currently contributing original songs to the Warner Brothers/Boomerang reboot of the classic animated series "Wacky Races." He is also the music producer for The Battery Company’s series of online shorts, contributing original music for the viral videos "The Sonogram," “Werq: The Labor Day Song,” “Serial: The TV Show,” and “Shit I Love,” and was responsible for supervising all music on both seasons of the cult favorite YouTube series “The Battery’s Down,” which featured new songs by Broadway’s top composers, including Tom Kitt (Next To Normal), Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek), and Lisa Lambert (The Drowsy Chaperone), in addition to composing additional songs himself. He composed a new song and original scoring for a special reunion episode of “The Battery’s Down,” which premiered on Hulu in November of 2015. For MTV’s pilot “Making It,” a musical reality series, he was hired to create and produce new arrangements of songs by Beyoncé, Demi Lovato, and Coldplay.
Adam was responsible for the arrangements and musical supervision for the long-running Off Broadway hit Old Jews Telling Jokes and subsequently supervised the popular production at the Royal George Theater in Chicago, for which he also provided orchestrations. He conducted the critically-lauded Unlock’d at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street, and he previously provided music direction on several other Off- and Off-Off- Broadway productions, including Yank! (York Theater), In Transit (Primary Stages), Danny Visconti is Hill-bent, and Jason & Ben. His arrangements and orchestrations for Perfect Harmony, Perez Hilton Saves The Universe, and Spidermusical are currently licensed with production rights to those shows across the country, and each featured Adam as Music Director in its original New York production.
Regionally, Adam has worked as a Music Director at many of the nation’s top theaters, including the world premiere of Dog and Pony at the Old Globe (directed by Roger Rees), Girlstar at the Signature Theatre (for which he also wrote Vocal Arrangements), director Michael Arden's productions of My Fair Lady at Bay Street Theater and Merrily We Roll Along at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (NAACP Theatre Award nomination, Best Music Director), and musicals at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, Pittsburgh CLO, North Shore Music Theater, Northern Stage, Weston Playhouse, and Theatre-by-the-Sea, among others. He served as Music Director at the O’Neill Theater Center’s 2011 Cabaret Conference and also on TheatreworksUSA’s national tour of We The People, and recently acted as Music Supervisor on a new immersive production of Carrie in Los Angeles.
For “Glee”’s Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, Adam created arrangements, orchestrations, and provided musical direction for their “True Colors Cabaret” at Feinstein’s in late 2009. He has written arrangements and/or orchestrations for many other benefits, including a Miscast benefit for MCC Theater at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Lincoln Center's 2017 Spring Gala, and multiple editions of Broadway Backwards at the Hirschfield Theater. For four years, 2014-2017, Adam helped create annual musical numbers for NYC’s Mayor Bill de Blasio's appearances in the annual Inner Circle Show. He also orchestrated and produced the music for the opening numbers of the 2010 Streamy Awards and the 2011 Writers Guild Awards East, performed by Kristen Schaal (“30 Rock,” “The Daily Show”).
As a pianist, Adam performed in the pit orchestras of Broadway’s War Paint, Finding Neverland, Allegiance, and The Addams Family, Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, Madison Square Garden’s Peter Pan, and MCC Theater’s Carrie, for which he is heard playing on the original cast recording on Ghostlight Records. In concert, he has accompanied Grammy-winning country superstar Trisha Yearwood at Avery Fisher Hall, Tony Award winner Karen Olivo at Feinstein’s, Ton Award winner Kelli O’Hara at Le Poisson Rouge, Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger at Ars Nova, and countless others, including Lance Bass, Brent Barrett, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Matt Cavenaugh, Liz Callaway, Marc Kudisch, Melissa Errico, Norm Lewis, Stephanie Block, Adam Chanler-Berat, Caissie Levy, and “American Idol”’s Melinda Doolittle.
Adam is a member of the Associated Federation of Musicians (Local 802), Mensa, and ASCAP as both a writer and publisher through his company Contumacious Creatures Music. He graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Music with a Bachelor of Theatre Arts and received an MA with distinction from Goldsmiths, University of London. Adam previously taught Musical Theatre at LAMDA and is currently on the faculty of Point Park University’s musical theatre department in Pittsburgh. He can be found online at adamwachter.com and is represented by Diana Glazer at ICM Partners.
Member Local 802 AFM, ASCAP
Television, Film, and Web
ENCORE! | Music Director | ABC / Olive Bridge Entertainment / Disney+ | Will Gluck & Kristen Bell, EPs
WACKY RACES | Original Songs | Warner Bros.
SAS AND JAKE (Pilot) | Original Music | Bravo / Jax Media
ARE YOU JOKING? | Original Score, Music Supervisor | Independent Feature | Dir: Jake Wilson
SIGN | Original Score and Screenplay | Independent Short | Dir: Andrew Keenan-Bolger
BROADWAY MUSICALS: A JEWISH LEGACY | Orchestrations | PBS Great Performances | Dir: Michael Kantor
MAKING IT (Pilot) | Arrangements, Orchestrations | MTV / Ish Entertainment
SOUR PATCH KIDS: “Breaking Out” Campaign | Original Score | Fullscreen Productions
JEFFERY LIVE! (Web Series) | Original Theme Song | Jeffery Self
SUBMISSIONS ONLY (Web Series) | Original Theme and Score
THE BATTERY’S DOWN (Web Series) | Music Supervisor / Orchestrations / Arrangements / Original Songs
WAR PAINT | Keyboard 2* | Nederlander Theater
ALLEGIANCE | Keyboard 2* | Longacre Theater
FINDING NEVERLAND | Keyboard 2/Accordion*, Rehearsal Accompanist | Lunt-Fontanne Theater
THE ADDAMS FAMILY | Keyboard 2* | Lunt-Fontanne Theater
PETER PAN | Keyboard 1* | The Theater at Madison Square Garden
RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR | Keyboard 2* | Radio City Music Hall
CARRIE | Asst. Music Director / Keyboard 2 | MCC / Lucille Lortel | Dir: Stafford Arima
OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES | Music Supervision & Arrangements | Westside Theater | Dir: Marc Bruni
UNLOCK’D | Music Director | Prospect Theater Co. at The Duke on 42nd St.
SILENCE! THE MUSICAL | Keyboard 2* | Elektra Theater
YANK! | Conductor/Piano | York Theatre | Dir: Igor Goldin
IN TRANSIT | Associate Music Director | Primary Stages at 59E59 | Dir: Joe Calarco
PERFECT HARMONY | Music Director, Arrangements | Acorn at Theater Row
PEREZ HILTON SAVES THE UNIVERSE | Music Director, Arrangements, Orchestrations | Fringe, Fringe Encores
TARRYTOWN | Original Book, Music, & Lyrics | Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company
*winner "Best New Musical" | San Diego Critics' Circle, Craig Noel Award
LINCOLN SQUARE | Original Music | Vail Dance Festival / The Kennedy Center | Chor: Tiler Peck
DOG AND PONY | Music Director | The Old Globe | Dir: Roger Rees
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG | Music Director | Wallis Annenberg Center | Dir: Michael Arden
*nominee "Best Music Director" | NAACP Theatre Award
MY FAIR LADY | Music Director | Bay Street Theater | Dir: Michael Arden
GAME ON | Music Director | Pittsburgh CLO
GIRLSTAR | Music Director, Vocal Arrangements | Signature Theatre Co. | Dir: Eric Schaeffer
CARRIE | Music Supervisor | La Mirada Theater
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM | Music Director | Shakespeare Theatre Company
EVITA | Music Director, Orchestrations | Northern Stage
HARMONY, KANSAS | Music Director, Orchestrations | Diversionary Theater
ONCE | Music Director | Weston Playhouse | Dir: Michael Berresse
25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE | Music Director | Weston Playhouse
LOS FELIZ: 90027 | Original Songs | Rockwell Table & Stage
CABARET FELLOWS PROGRAM | Music Director | The Eugene O’Neill Center
Readings & Workshops
TARRYTOWN | Original Book, Music, Lyrics | MCC Theater | Dir: Michael Arden
TRIANGLE | Music Director | MCC Theater | Dir: Michael Arden
SOMEWHERE IN TIME | Associate Music Director | Davenport Theatricals
ME AND THE GIRLS | Associate Music Director | Roundabout Theatre Company | Dir: Douglas Carter Beane
BROOKLYNITE | Score Preparation, Transcriptions | Dir: Michael Mayer
SOME LOVERS | Score Preparation, Transcriptions | The Old Globe
HAPPY DAYS | Associate Conductor, Keyboard 2 | Dir: Gordon Greenberg
WE THE PEOPLE | Music Director | Theatreworks USA
Concerts & Benefits (a selection)
THE SONGS OF ADAM WACHTER | Composer/Lyricist | 54 Below, Rockwell Table & Stage
TRUE COLORS CABARET: Lea Michele & Jonathan Groff | Music Director, Arrangements, Orchestrations | Feinstein's at the Leow’s Regency
TRUE COLORS CABARETS: Stephanie Block, Melinda Doolittle, Karen Olivo | Piano | Feinstein’s at the Leow’s Regency
SERIOUS FUN: A CELEBRATION OF PAUL NEWMAN'S DREAM | Piano | Avery Fisher Hall
MAIZE & BLUE ON BROADWAY | Arrangements | August Wilson Theater
INNER CIRCLE SHOWS 2014-17 (Mayor’s Rebuttal) | Arrangements, Music Director | New York Hilton
BROADWAY BACKWARDS 7 & 9 | Associate MD, Orchestrations | Al Hirschfield Theater
LINCOLN CENTER SPRING GALA 2017 | Piano | Alice Tully Hall
MUSEMATCH 4.0 | Composer/Lyricist | 54 Below
Bachelor of Theatre Arts, University of Michigan, School of Music
Master of Arts with distinction, Goldsmiths, University of London
*denotes designated sub