promoting the art of Music Arranging, Composition and Orchestration within the entertainment industry community and the general public.

promoting the art of Music Arranging, Composition and Orchestration within the entertainment industry community and the general public.

ASMAC NYC Presents: Score Explore - Danny Troob: the Disney Animation Renaissance

LA 12 PM  NY 3 PM  UK 8 PM  


ASMAC NYC Presents: Score Explore - Danny Troob: the Disney Animation Renaissance


Hosted by Michael Starobin and Russ Anixter 

The sound of the great Disney animated features in the 1990’s was the sound of Danny Troob’s wonderful orchestrations. The sparkle and passion of Alan Menken’s songs and score are intrinsically linked to Troob’s masterful use of both classical and Broadway palettes. Join us as Danny discusses scores from Beauty & the Beast, Pocahontas and Hercules with Michael Starobin and Russ Anixter.


Danny Troob on Danny Troob:

My first public performance was at Carnegie Hall at 12 years of age. I won a competition for young composers - 5 winners who each performed his or her piece as part of a young person’s concert, with Leopold Stokowski as music director (and judge!) I was a terrible piano player at that age, and asked permission to orchestrate my own piece. Permission was granted and I included an easy-to-play piano part so that I could be onstage. The orchestration was well done except for the trumpet parts. I made some mistakes in judgement about double-tonguing arpeggios. I never made that mistake again. Other mistakes followed, but I still try to learn from them. The Carnegie Hall piece was an overture to an opera I never wrote. And since then, almost all my gigs have been related to dramatic media – theater, film, theme park, television.

A career as a musician includes composing, orchestrating, and conducting. Some early credits: Pacific OverturesThe Baker’s Wife (both shows dance music), Big River (music supervision and orchestration).

I've orchestrated the animated features Beauty and the BeastAladdin, and Pocahontas, where I also conducted the score. I wrote and conducted the scores to Disney’s The Little Mermaid 2 and Lady and The Tramp 2 – low-budget direct-to-videos that still get mentioned with great condescension in histories of animation.

And yet Little Mermaid 2 was nominated for an Annie award (music in animation.) I didn’t win, but my competition was Toy Story and Shrek so just being nominated was flattering. To compete with Randy Newman and Hans Zimmer is an honor in and of itself.

On Broadway I orchestrated the award-winning revivals of How To Succeed In Business (Matthew Broderick) and The Pajama Game (Harry Connick Jr.) And I orchestrated the notorious Saravá and Footloose. (Sometimes the stinkers are more fun to work on than quality theater. ) Ben Brantley particularly hated Footloose and kept referring to it as a benchmark of badness throughout the 1998-1999 season. (Clive Barnes did the same thing to Follies in 1971, so I am in good company). I orchestrated Lucy Simon’s Dr. Zhivago for Australia in 2011 and for Broadway in 2015. Many changes were made – alas, not improvements.

I recently co-orchestrated Disney’s Hercules and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power. Co-orchestration is a very suitable strategy for orchestrators getting too old for 14 hour days 7 days a week. What is insufficiently understood, even by professionals, is how little time there is to write the orchestrations of a show. You spend a lifetime developing and honing your skills, but the you produce your work with almost no time to think.

Assuming that covid vaccines will open shuttered theaters all over the world, I have new versions of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast coming up very soon. I still love writing for orchestra, and my only complaint about theater is that the audience hears what the sound man sends, rather than what the orchestrator wrote, and even the sound designer is largely subordinate to the production. The technology exists for beautiful theater sound, but most of the time it’s just loud. The same is true in feature films, and television. Audiences have grown to expect loud and I don’t see this trend changing any time soon. Among my recent shows, Cinderella was not too loud but that was to honor the score by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Light In The Piazza wasn’t my show, but it had beautiful sound. Tasteful sound design was a must with a story that subtle, and orchestrations that delicate.

Times change, audiences change, the industry is fickle. BUT - “I’m Still Here” (sorry, Clive, RIP!) and I thank everyone who is participating in today’s webinar.



Michael Starobin is a renowned orchestrator and arranger working on Broadway and in Hollywood. He has been the orchestrator for some of Broadway's most innovative musicals such as Falsettos, Sunday in the Park with George, Assassins (2004 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations) and Next to Normal (2009 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations). He was the conductor and orchestrator for Disney's animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, orchestrated the songs for Tangled and contributed orchestrations to the film versions of Chicago, Nine and Beauty and the Beast (2017).



Event Date Saturday, January 16, 2021 12:00 pm
Registration Start Date Saturday, January 9, 2021 12:00 pm
Cut off date Saturday, January 16, 2021 3:00 pm
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