- Lara E. Housez
(b Pittsburgh, PA, Sept 18, 1960). American composer, dance arranger, and vocal arranger. He completed the B.Mus. at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and pursued graduate studies at New York University. Flaherty later enrolled in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, where, in 1982, he met Lynn Ahrens (b New York, NY, 1 Oct 1948), who would become his longtime book- and lyric-writing collaborator. In 1988 the songwriting team arrived on the New York theater scene with the Off-Broadway musical Lucky Stiff and, two years later, introduced Once on This Island, which moved to Broadway for a modest run and received eight Tony Award nominations. Flaherty and Ahrens are best known for Ragtime (1998 and 2009 revival), adapted from E.L. Doctorow’s 1975 novel. For the musical Flaherty and Ahrens won Broadway’s triple crown—Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards—as well as two Grammy nominations. Flaherty’s evocative score blends ragtime, early jazz, gospel, marches, and other American musical styles. In ...