He received a degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music and studied with Aaron Copland and Nadia Boulanger. He started his professional music career as a piano player for dance bands. Later he became a pianist for theatre rehearsals.
+Bye Bye Birdie, his first and probably most-known success, was responsible for winning him his first Tony Award. The London production of the show won the London Critics' Best Foreign Musical Award. Strouse also co-wrote the 1966 musical +It's a Bird, a Plane, It's Superman and +Golden Boy starring Sammy Davis Jr. In 1970, Strouse won another Tony for +Applause starring Lauren Bacall.
Two of the musicals were made into major motion pictures: #Bye Bye Birdie, starring Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, and Ann-Margret (Columbia, 1963), and Annie (Columbia, 1982). The soundtrack to Annie went gold -- extremely rare for a show tunes album -- mainly off of the ballad Tomorrow. The song has been covered by numerous artists including Johnny Mathis and Cissy Houston. The LP has the distinction of winning both a Tony and two Grammy awards. #Bye Bye Birdie was also a 1995 ABC-TV movie starring Jason Alexander of #Seinfeld. The song Let's Settle Down won a 1996 Primetime Emmy Award.
Strouse contributed scores and or songs to the following movies: #Bonnie and Clyde (1967), #The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), #There Was a Crooked Man (1970), #Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), #Ishtar (1987), and #All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989).
Other musicals Strouse has contributed to include +Broadway Musical, +Charlie and Algernon, +All American written with Mel Brooks and Lee Adams, +Mayor, +Dance a Little Closer, +Nick and Nora, +Annie Warbucks, +Rags, and +Nightingale. +By Strouse, a musical consisting of songs from Strouse's catalog, tours frequently, while Strouse himself is an active guest lecturer. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi
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