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Geoffrey Block

(b Jersey City, NJ, Oct 23, 1945). American composer, lyricist and theorist. A composer since the age of six, he attended Yale University (1963–7), where he studied with the musicologist William G. Waite and the theorist Allen Forte, earned the PhD in theory in 1974, became a professor of theory for the next six years, and occasionally returned as a guest professor. As a theorist he produced a monograph on Schenkerian analysis and a provocative new theory on rhythmic stratification. The year before receiving the doctorate he conceived a musical based on Federico Fellini's autobiographical film and, after launching the project for Lehman Engel's BMI Music Theatre Workshop, continued to develop it over the next nine years. The result, coincidentally named Nine (1982), was an unusual musical with one male character (the great film director, Guido Contini (Fellini), as an adult and as a nine-year-old) and 21 women occupying the director's real and imagined worlds. In the popular and critically acclaimed staging by the director, Tommy Tune, ...