David Alan Friedman (born May 16, 1950) is a film and theatre composer, songwriter, author, lyricist and conductor based in New York City. He received a 1997 Backstage Bistro Award for Composer of the Year, a 1997 Johnny Mercer Award for Songwriter of the Year, and a Special Lifetime Achievement Award at the 26th Annual MAC Awards. His Oratorio, King Island Christmas, won a Frederick Loewe Award and Dramatists Guild Award.
Friedman’s original songs include “Listen to My Heart,” “Help is on the Way,” “We Can Be Kind,” “We Live on Borrowed Time,” “I’ll Be Here With You,” “Just in Time for Christmas” (with David Zippel), and “My Simple Christmas Wish”. In January 2003, Friedman published the music book Listen To My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman through his publishing firm Midder Music. The book features 63 Friedman songs, including “Listen to My Heart,” “We Live On Borrowed Time,” “We Can Be Kind,” “Help is on the Way,” “Your Love,” “Trust the Wind,” “My Simple Christmas Wish,” and “I’ll Be Here With You.” Following upon the book, Friedman in October 2003 debuted his musical review by the same name.
Friedman was conductor of the music scores for Disney’s animated features, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and was vocal contractor for Mulan. Songs written by Friedman have been featured in the Disney film Aladdin and the King of Thieves, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Bambi 2, in the movie Salsa, and in three animated television series, Happy Ness, Sky Dancers, and Dragon Flyz.
Friedman has written songs for Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, Petula Clark, Nancy LaMott, Alison Krauss, Laura Branigan, LMNT, Jason Alexander, Laurie Beechman, Lainie Kazan, Leslie Uggams, and others. He produced all of Nancy LaMott’s recordings, many including his original compositions. Friedman is a regular on the Today Show Everyone Has a Story series, and partners with Kathie Lee Gifford to write a new song each month, which he performs with a current Broadway star on the first Thursday of each month.
Friedman has also worked in theater on several Broadway musicals, serving as musical director for such original Broadway productions such as Saravà, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Song & Dance, and Beauty and the Beast. Friedman is the composer of four musicals with Tony Award Nominated book writer/lyricist Peter Kellogg. Chasing Nicolette, based upon the 13th Century romance Aucassin et Nicolette), has been produced at locations such as the Little Shubert Theatre in New York City, the Westport Country Playhouse, and the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.
A Christmas Oratorio called King Island Christmas, written with librettist Deborah Brevoort, has had over forty productions worldwide. Friedman is also co-composer, with David Pomeranz and Kathie Lee Gifford of the new musical Saving Aimee about the life of Aimee Semple McPherson. In 2009, he released a musical play Stunt Girl, in association with author/lyricist Peter S. Kellog, and developed in association with the Village Theatre in Seattle, based on the life of Nellie Bly. This was a project worked on together by Kellogg and Friedman for ten years.
Friedman also wrote two songs for Barney’s Great Adventure, the 1998 film, based the PBS Kids television series Barney and Friends. In 2006, Friedman worked in the music department for World Trade Center, a biopic film based on the September 11, 2001 attacks starring Nicolas Cage. David demonstrates an impressive ability to combine classic musical theater technique with a contemporary and fresh approach. From “We Can Be Kind” to “Listen to My Heart,” David writes songs of inspiration, love, and hope that take on new emotional meaning in these challenging times.
The following work by David Friedman is contained in my collection:
Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996): Party in Agrabah
—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources