Arthur Solari, music director of Hofstra’s Dance Program, won a Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Music in a Play,” recognizing his original score for Tamburlaine the Great, presented by Theater for a New Audience at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn. The 60th annual Drama Desk Awards ceremony took place on May 31, and this was Solari’s first nomination.
Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great was written in 1587, and this recent production marked the first time the play had been given a major New York production in 58 years. The play recounts the brutal rise to power and the mysterious end of the bloody 14th-century Mongol conqueror Timur, or Tamburlaine.
Ben Brantley of The New York Times was just one of the major New York City theater critics to praise the play and Solari’s contribution: “Tamburlaine is a force of nature…Packed with pomp, pageantry, stylized violence and coruscating theatrical wit…The primal rhythms of warfare are echoed in Arthur Solari’s propulsive, percussive music, which evokes a world in which storms always threaten, and thunder rumbles forever.”
Solari composes music for productions in both the Dance and Drama Programs at Hofstra. He is spending part of the summer as the musical director and a performer for the Shakespeare in the Park summer production of The Tempest. The play, directed by Michael Greif (Rent and Next to Normal) and starring Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, is running at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park through July 6.
And more excitement awaits Solari at the end of summer. He is expecting his first child – a baby boy – with his wife, Jennifer Goggans, a former member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company who now stages MCDC works throughout the US and abroad.