Adam Wachter is a composer, lyricist, music director, arranger, orchestrator, and pianist, recently featured conducting Into the Woods on ABC as the Music Director of Kristen Bell’s primetime special “Encore!” . His original musical, Tarrytown, a modern-day adaptation of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” for which Adam wrote music, book, and lyrics, had its world premiere production at Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company in San Diego and won the 2017 San Diego Critics’ Circle Craig Noel Award for Best New Musical. James Hebert of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote, in his review, “Wachter makes it work pretty wonderfully, with a lyrical and gracefully flowing score, often witty lyrics and a savvy way of updating Irving’s characters without shoehorning them into some contrived-feeling story.” The premiere concert of his original music and lyrics was presented in New York at 54 Below and in Los Angeles at Rockwell Table & Stage, and sheet music to his songs can be purchased at http://www.newmusicaltheatre.com.
The 2016 short film “Sign,” for which Adam wrote both score and screenplay, made its world premiere in the summer of 2016 in the OutFest LGBT Film Festival in Los Angeles. It went on to screen in over thirty film festivals all over the world, winning several prizes including the Youth Jury Award at the Iris Prize Festival, Best Narrative Short at NewFest, and the jury award for Best Short at Shout!, among others. Adam also produced the film along with director Andrew Keenan-Bolger. His original children’s audio musical “Denny the Dinosaur: Hear Me Roar,” written and composed with vocal arranger AnnMarie Milazzo, won the 2016 Parents’ Choice Award for Storytelling. In 2013, he completed his first full-length film score on Jake Wilson’s comedy “Are You Joking.” Also in 2013, he orchestrated the score for the PBS Great Performances documentary “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” directed by Michael Kantor (“Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Broadway: The American Musical”). He also composed and orchestrated the theme song and score for the smash hit web series “Submissions Only” and several pieces of score for Sour Patch Kids’ “Breaking Out” YouTube campaign series.
Adam is currently contributing original songs to the Warner Brothers/Boomerang reboot of the classic animated series “Wacky Races.” He is also the music producer for The Battery Company’s series of online shorts, contributing original music for the viral videos “The Sonogram,” “Werq: The Labor Day Song,” “Serial: The TV Show,” and “Shit I Love,” and was responsible for supervising all music on both seasons of the cult favorite YouTube series “The Battery’s Down,” which featured new songs by Broadway’s top composers, including Tom Kitt (Next To Normal), Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek), and Lisa Lambert (The Drowsy Chaperone), in addition to composing additional songs himself. He composed a new song and original scoring for a special reunion episode of “The Battery’s Down,” which premiered on Hulu in November of 2015. For MTV’s pilot “Making It,” a musical reality series, he was hired to create and produce new arrangements of songs by Beyoncé, Demi Lovato, and Coldplay.
Adam was responsible for the arrangements and musical supervision for the long-running Off Broadway hit Old Jews Telling Jokes and subsequently supervised the popular production at the Royal George Theater in Chicago, for which he also provided orchestrations. He conducted the critically-lauded Unlock’d at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street, and he previously provided music direction on several other Off- and Off-Off- Broadway productions, including Yank! (York Theater), In Transit (Primary Stages), Danny Visconti is Hill-bent, and Jason & Ben. His arrangements and orchestrations for Perfect Harmony, Perez Hilton Saves The Universe, and Spidermusical are currently licensed with production rights to those shows across the country, and each featured Adam as Music Director in its original New York production.
Regionally, Adam has worked as a Music Director at many of the nation’s top theaters, including the world premiere of Dog and Pony at the Old Globe (directed by Roger Rees), Girlstar at the Signature Theatre (for which he also wrote Vocal Arrangements), director Michael Arden’s productions of My Fair Lady at Bay Street Theater and Merrily We Roll Along at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (NAACP Theatre Award nomination, Best Music Director), and musicals at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, North Shore Music Theater, Northern Stage, Weston Playhouse, and Theatre-by-the-Sea, among others. He served as Music Director at the O’Neill Theater Center’s 2011 Cabaret Conference and also on TheatreworksUSA’s national tour of We The People, and recently acted as Music Supervisor on a new immersive production of Carrie in Los Angeles.
For “Glee”’s Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, Adam created arrangements, orchestrations, and provided musical direction for their “True Colors Cabaret” at Feinstein’s in late 2009. He has written arrangements and/or orchestrations for many other benefits, including a Miscast benefit for MCC Theater at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Lincoln Center’s 2017 Spring Gala, and multiple editions of Broadway Backwards at the Hirschfield Theater. For four years, 2014-2017, Adam helped create annual musical numbers for NYC’s Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appearances in the annual Inner Circle Show. He also orchestrated and produced the music for the opening numbers of the 2010 Streamy Awards and the 2011 Writers Guild Awards East, performed by Kristen Schaal (“30 Rock,” “The Daily Show”).
As a pianist, Adam performed in the pit orchestras of Broadway’s War Paint, Finding Neverland, Allegiance, and The Addams Family, Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, Madison Square Garden’s Peter Pan, and MCC Theater’s Carrie, for which he is heard playing on the original cast recording on Ghostlight Records. In concert, he has accompanied Grammy-winning country superstar Trisha Yearwood at Avery Fisher Hall, Tony Award winner Karen Olivo at Feinstein’s, 4-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara at Le Poisson Rouge, Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger at Ars Nova, and countless others, including Lance Bass, Brent Barrett, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Matt Cavenaugh, Liz Callaway, Marc Kudisch, Melissa Errico, Norm Lewis, Stephanie Block, Adam Chanler-Berat, Caissie Levy, and “American Idol”’s Melinda Doolittle.
Adam is a member of the Associated Federation of Musicians (Local 802), Mensa, and ASCAP as both a writer and publisher through his company Contumacious Creatures Music. He graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Music with a Bachelor of Theatre Arts and is currently pursuing his Master’s at Goldsmiths, University of London. He can be found online at adamwachter.com and is represented by Diana Glazer at ICM Partners.