Jeanine Tesori

Jeanine Tesori

(born Long Island, Manhasset 10 November 1961)

Known primarily for her work composing for musicals, Jeanine Tesori is an incredibly exciting contemporary composer with a widely accessible musical style. With a few operas under her belt, Tesori’s most recent major opera, Blue, poses an exciting and poignant story with a brutally emotional centre. More about this opera can be found in our Introduction to Blue.

A composer known for both opera and musical theatre, Tesori has 5 Tony Award nominations amongst a wide output of musicals, notably winning the Tony Award for Best Original Score in 2015 for Fun Home.


Tesori's Musical Style

Blurring the lines between musical theatre and opera, Tesori’s works in both mediums are often sung-through, tying the music and libretto together effortlessly. With a keen interest for using America’s most popular musical genres in different formats, Tesori has composed with such diverse styles as jazz, folk, blues and spiritual music.

Tesori's Life

Jeanine Tesori, born in 1961, began working with music early, playing piano at three and started writing songs at five. Life took her in a different direction as a teenager, until she switched onto the music course at Columbia University, where she fell back in love with composing, writing her first musical, Violet. 

Tesori began a successful career composing for musical theatre, writing vastly successful musicals as Fun Home, Caroline; or Change, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Shrek The Musical in the ensuing years.

 She even became the first female composer ever to have two original musicals running at the same time on Broadway.

Alongside Tesori’s musicals, was an illustrious soundtrack career, writing music for the likes of Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove, Shrek the Third and Mulan II to name but a few.

In the operatic world, 2011 saw Tesori commissioned by Glimmerglass Festival to write A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck, an opera which details the real life couple of  Eugene O’Neill and his wife Carlotta Monterey, whose arguments lead them to be isolated outside in a blizzard – separated and hallucinating. Glimmerglass later commissioned Tesori again in 2015, leading to the composition of Blue.