Steven Lutvak, the musical mind behind the Tony-winning musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, died October 9 at the age of 64. News of his passing was confirmed by his longtime agent, Olivier Sultan.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Mr. Lutvak was a talented multi-hyphenate, working at various times as a cabaret performer, music arranger, director, and as a performance coach in addition to his songwriting and compositional work.
As a singer-songwriter, Mr. Lutvak performed across the country, including successful New York engagements at Carnegie Hall. From this solo material, Mr. Lutvak released two albums, The Time It Take and Ahead of My Heart, all the while continuing to pursue his collaborative musical theatre dreams.
Mr. Lutvak made his Broadway debut with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in 2014, for which he supplied the music, and co-wrote the lyrics with Robert L. Freedman. The musical won the Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Musical.
The pair had previously written the musical Campaign of the Century together, which won the California Musical Theater Competition from the Beverly Hills Theater Guild. Other musicals by Mr. Lutvak include Almost September, The Wayside Motor Inn (an adaptation of a play by A. R. Gurney), and Esmeralda. For the screen, Mr. Lutvak composed the title track for the film Mad Hot Ballroom, and the score to Anything But Love starring Eartha Kitt and Andrew McCarthy.
Mr. Lutvak was a highly awarded composer, receiving the Kleban Award for Lyric Writing for the Theater, the Fred Ebb Award for Songwriting for the Theater alongside Freedman, the American Theatre Wing's Jonathan Larson Grant, the Johnny Mercer Foundation's Emerging American Songwriter Award, two Bistro Awards, three MAC Awards, and multiple ASCAP Awards.
In his later years, Mr. Lutvak worked as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the New York University Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.
According to Sultan, Mr. Lutvak leaves behind several works that were in development. "Steven was working on a number of new projects that were slowly nearing fruition," wrote Sultan in an Instagram post. "We are all the poorer that we won’t get to experience these projects in their finished forms. Mostly, we are all the poorer that we won’t get to enjoy Steven’s warmth, talent and wit anymore."
Mr. Lutvak is survived by his husband, choreographer Michael McGowan, and their daughter, Eliot Rose Lutvak-McGowan. Information on a public memorial is forthcoming.