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John Harold Kander (born March 18, 1927) is the Americanmarker composer of a number of musicals as part of the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb.


Kander was born in Kansas City, Missourimarker, the son of Bernice (née Aaron) and Harold S. Kander. Kander attended The Pembroke Country-Day Schoolmarker and Oberlin Collegemarker before earning a Master's degree at Columbia University. He began his Broadway career as substitute rehearsal pianist for West Side Story. The stage manager for West Side Story then asked Kander to play the auditions for her next show, Gypsy. During the auditions, Kander met the choreographer, Jerome Robbins, who suggested that Kander compose the dance music for the show in 1959. After that experience, he wrote dance arrangements for Irma la Douce in 1960. His first produced musical was A Family Affair, written with James and William Goldman. In 1965, he teamed up with Fred Ebb to write Flora the Red Menace, produced by Hal Prince, directed by George Abbott, and with book by George Abbott and Robert Russell, in which Liza Minnelli made her initial Broadway appearance. In the same year rising star Barbra Streisand recorded two of the duo's songs, "My Coloring Book" and "I Don't Care Much." It proved to be a success and launched the pair's career. Kander and Ebb have since been associated with writing material for both Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, and have produced special material for their appearances live and on television.

The musicals Cabaret and Chicago have been made into films; the film version of Chicago won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Picture.

John Kander musicals

Lyrics by Fred Ebb unless otherwise noted.

The duo also contributed songs for the following movies:

John Kander film scores

Television projects


They also received numerous nominations, which include five more Tony Awards, two Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards.

In 1998, they received the Kennedy Center Honors award for Lifetime Achievement.


  1. Kander, accessed February 16, 2009

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