The Tony Award for Best Original Score is the Tony Award given to the composers and lyricists of the best original score written for a musical or play in that year. The score consists of music and/or lyrics. To be eligible, a score must be written specifically for the theatre and must be original; compilations of non-theatrical music or compilations of earlier theatrical music are not eligible for consideration.
|Tony Award for |
Best Original Score
|Awarded for||Best Original Score|
|Location||United States New York City|
|Presented by||American Theatre Wing The Broadway League|
|Currently held by||Christopher Nightingale for A Christmas Carol (2020)|
The award has undergone a number of minor changes. In 1947, 1950, 1951, and 1962, the award went to the composer only. Otherwise, the award has gone to the composer and lyricist for their combined contributions, except for 1971 when the two awards were split (although Stephen Sondheim won both, for Company).
In only nine years have non-musical plays been nominated for Tony Awards in this category: Much Ado About Nothing in 1973, The Good Doctor in 1974, The Song of Jacob Zulu in 1993, Twelfth Night in 1999, Enron and Fences in 2010, Peter and the Starcatcher and One Man, Two Guvnors in 2012, Angels in America in 2018, To Kill a Mockingbird in 2019, and A Christmas Carol, The Inheritance, The Rose Tattoo, Slave Play, and The Sound Inside in 2020. Because the Broadway season of 2019-2020 was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only four musicals were eligible for Tony Awards. Three were jukebox musicals and the fourth was The Lightning Thief, the only musical of the season with original music. The Lightning Thief was not nominated for any Tony Awards, meaning that every nominee in this category in 2020 was a play rather than a musical.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is the youngest person to win the award; he was 28 when he won for In the Heights. Adolph Green is the oldest person to win the award; he was 76 when he won for The Will Rogers Follies. If T. S. Eliot were alive when he won for Cats, he would have been 94. Eliot is one of two people to receive the award posthumously, the other being Jonathan Larson, who won for Rent. He would have been 36.
Winners and nomineesEdit
1st Tony Awards
|Street Scene||Kurt Weill||Langston Hughes|
2nd Tony Awards
3rd Tony Awards
|Kiss Me, Kate||Cole Porter|
4th Tony Awards
|South Pacific||Richard Rodgers||Oscar Hammerstein II|
5th Tony Awards
|Call Me Madam||Irving Berlin|
|1952 – 1959||N/A|
|Year||Production (Musical or Play)||Music||Lyrics|
74th Tony Awards
|A Christmas Carol||Christopher Nightingale||N/A|
|The Inheritance||Paul Englishby||N/A|
|The Rose Tattoo||Fitz Patton & Jason Michael Webb||N/A|
|Slave Play||Lindsay Jones||N/A|
|The Sound Inside||Daniel Kluger||N/A|
Only seven women have won this award, four of whom won without male writing partners, and for only eight shows:
- Betty Comden – Hallelujah, Baby! (1968), On the Twentieth Century (1978), and The Will Rogers Follies (1991), becoming the first and, so far, only woman to win this Tony multiple times.
- Lynn Ahrens – Ragtime (1998)
- Lisa Lambert – The Drowsy Chaperone (2006)
- Cyndi Lauper – Kinky Boots (2013), becoming the first woman to win this Tony without a male writing partner.
- Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron – Fun Home (2015), becoming the first all-female songwriting team (music and lyrics) to win this Tony.
- Anaïs Mitchell — Hadestown (2019), becoming the second woman to win this Tony without a male writing partner.
- 'Fun Home' songwriters become 1st winning female team Yahoo News
- "Tony Award Nominees". The Washington Post. May 13, 2003. Retrieved May 2, 2018.