Robert Prince (composer)

This article is about the jazz, ballet and Broadway composer also known as Bob Prince. For Bobby Prince, composer of music for games, see Robert Prince (video game composer).

Robert Prince (May 10, 1929[1] – March 4, 2007) was an American composer of music for dance, theater, television, film and records and a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. In addition to his work as composer and arranger he also performed on vibraphone and timpani.[2]

Dance and Theater

Prince is noted for composing the jazz-influenced music for N.Y. Export: Op. Jazz (1958) and Events (1961). These were groundbreaking modern ballets choreographed by Jerome Robbins for his company Ballets USA.[2]

Prince also composed incidental music for the play Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad which Robbins directed off-Broadway in 1962. He also composed and arranged music for the musicals Something More! (1964), Half a Sixpence (1965) and The Office (1966).

Film and Television

Prince composed the music for Francis Ford Coppola's 1966 film You're a Big Boy Now, the George Peppard film Newman's Law (1974), the cult horror film Squirm (1976) and the blaxploitation movie J. D.'s Revenge (1976), and wrote the music for TV movies such as Gargoyles (1972), The Return of Charlie Chan (1973), Scream, Pretty Peggy (1973), The Strange and Deadly Occurrence (1974), Where Have All The People Gone? (1974), The Dead Don't Die (1975) and Snowbeast (1977).

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s he composed background music for a variety dramatic television series including episodes of The Wild Wild West, Mission: Impossible, Streets of San Francisco, Colombo, Murder She Wrote, and Rod Serling's Night Gallery.


Prince was also active as a composer, arranger and producer in the jazz and pop field where he went by the name Bob Prince and contributed to several projects for Columbia Records in the 1950s.[3]

Contracted to the Warner Brothers label in 1959 he released four albums under his own name. Notable among these albums is Saxes Inc. which is arranged for an ensemble of twelve saxophones and rhythm section and features some of the top New York jazz and studio players of the time including Phil Woods, Gene Quill, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. There is also a guest appearance by Coleman Hawkins.[4]

Prince's two compositions for Jerome Robbins are considered excellent examples of Third Stream music, the blending of jazz and classical styles.


As Leader

As Arranger and Sideman


  1. Kate Hevner Mueller, Twenty-Seven Major American Symphony Orchestras (Bloomington: Indiana University Studies, 1973), p. 263
  2. 1 2 George Avakian, liner notes to RCA Victor LPM/LSP-2435
  3. Liner notes to Columbia Records CL 842
  4. George Avakian, liner notes to Warner Brothers 1336

External links

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