Tony Award for Best Original Score

Last updated
Tony Award for
Best Original Score
Awarded forBest Original Score
Location United States New York City
Presented by American Theatre Wing The Broadway League
Currently held by Anaïs Mitchell for Hadestown (2019)

The Tony Award for Best Original Score is the Tony Award given to the composers and lyricists of the best original score written for a musical or play in that year. The score consists of music and/or lyrics. To be eligible, a score must be written specifically for the theatre and must be original; compilations of non-theatrical music or compilations of earlier theatrical music are not eligible for consideration.



The award has undergone a number of minor changes. In 1947, 1950, 1951, and 1962, the award went to the composer only. Otherwise, the award has gone to the composer and lyricist for their combined contributions, except for 1971 when the two awards were split (although Stephen Sondheim won both, for Company).

In only nine years have non-musical plays been nominated for Tony Awards in this category: Much Ado About Nothing in 1973, The Good Doctor in 1974, The Song of Jacob Zulu in 1993, Twelfth Night in 1999, Enron and Fences in 2010, Peter and the Starcatcher and One Man, Two Guvnors in 2012, Angels in America in 2018, To Kill a Mockingbird in 2019, and A Christmas Carol , The Inheritance , The Rose Tattoo , Slave Play , and The Sound Inside in 2020, all of which are plays, and not musicals.

In 2013, Cyndi Lauper became the first woman to win the award solo for Kinky Boots . In 2015, Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori became the first all-woman team to win the award for Fun Home . [1]

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the youngest person to win the award; he was 28 when he won for In the Heights . Adolph Green is the oldest person to win the award; he was 76 when he won for The Will Rogers Follies . If T. S. Eliot were alive when he won for Cats , he would have been 94. Eliot is one of two people to receive the award posthumously, the other being Jonathan Larson, who won for Rent . He would have been 36.

Winners and nominees

  indicates the winner


1st Tony Awards
Street Scene Kurt Weill Langston Hughes
2nd Tony Awards
3rd Tony Awards
Kiss Me, Kate Cole Porter


4th Tony Awards
South Pacific Richard Rodgers Oscar Hammerstein II
5th Tony Awards
Call Me Madam Irving Berlin
1952 – 1959N/A


1960 – 1961N/A
16th Tony Awards
No Strings Richard Rodgers
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Frank Loesser
Kwamina Richard Adler
Milk and Honey Jerry Herman
17th Tony Awards
Oliver! Lionel Bart
Bravo Giovanni Milton Schafer Ronny Graham
Little Me Cy Coleman Carolyn Leigh
Stop the World – I Want to Get Off Anthony Newley Leslie Bricusse
18th Tony Awards
Hello, Dolly! Jerry Herman
Funny Girl Jule Styne Bob Merrill
High Spirits Timothy Gray & Hugh Martin
110 in the Shade Harvey Schmidt Tom Jones
19th Tony Awards
Fiddler on the Roof Jerry Bock Sheldon Harnick
Do I Hear a Waltz? Richard Rodgers Stephen Sondheim
Half a Sixpence David Heneker
The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd Anthony Newley Leslie Bricusse
20th Tony Awards
Man of La Mancha Mitch Leigh Joe Darion
Mame Jerry Herman
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Burton Lane Alan Jay Lerner
Sweet Charity Cy Coleman Dorothy Fields
21st Tony Awards
Cabaret John Kander Fred Ebb
The Apple Tree Jerry Bock Sheldon Harnick
I Do! I Do! Harvey Schmidt Tom Jones
Walking Happy Jimmy Van Heusen Sammy Cahn
22nd Tony Awards
Hallelujah, Baby! Jule Styne Betty Comden & Adolph Green
The Happy Time John Kander Fred Ebb
How Now, Dow Jones Elmer Bernstein Carolyn Leigh
Illya Darling Manos Hatzidakis Joe Darion
23rd Tony Awards


YearProduction (Musical or Play)MusicLyrics
24th Tony Awards
25th Tony Awards
Company Stephen Sondheim
The Me Nobody Knows Gary William Friedman Will Holt
The Rothschilds Jerry Bock Sheldon Harnick
26th Tony Awards
Follies Stephen Sondheim
Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death Block
Jesus Christ Superstar Andrew Lloyd Webber Tim Rice
Two Gentlemen of Verona Galt MacDermot John Guare
27th Tony Awards
A Little Night Music Stephen Sondheim
Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope Micki Grant
Much Ado About Nothing Peter LinkN/A
Pippin Stephen Schwartz
28th Tony Awards
Gigi Frederick Loewe Alan Jay Lerner
The Good Doctor Peter Link Neil Simon
Raisin Judd Woldin Robert Brittan
Seesaw Cy Coleman Dorothy Fields
29th Tony Awards
The Wiz Charlie Smalls
A Letter for Queen Victoria Alan Lloyd
The Lieutenant Gene Curty, Nitra Scharfman & Chuck Strand
Shenandoah Gary GeldPeter Udell
30th Tony Awards
A Chorus Line Marvin Hamlisch Edward Kleban
Chicago John Kander Fred Ebb
Pacific Overtures Stephen Sondheim
Treemonisha Scott Joplin
31st Tony Awards
Annie Charles Strouse Martin Charnin
Godspell Stephen Schwartz
Happy End Kurt Weill Bertolt Brecht & Michael Feingold
I Love My Wife Cy Coleman Michael Stewart
32nd Tony Awards
On the Twentieth Century Cy Coleman Betty Comden & Adolph Green
The Act John Kander Fred Ebb
Runaways Elizabeth Swados
Working Susan Birkenhead, Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers, Stephen Schwartz & James Taylor
33rd Tony Awards
Sweeney Todd Stephen Sondheim
Carmelina Burton Lane Alan Jay Lerner
Eubie! Eubie Blake Johnny Brandon, Jim Europe, F. E. Miller, Andy Razafe & Noble Sissle
The Grand Tour Jerry Herman


YearProduction (Musical or Play)MusicLyrics
34th Tony Awards
Evita Andrew Lloyd Webber Tim Rice
A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine Frank Lazarus Dick Vosburgh
Barnum Cy Coleman Michael Stewart
Sugar Babies Artie Malvin
35th Tony Awards
Woman of the Year John Kander Fred Ebb
Charlie and Algernon Charles Strouse David Rogers
Copperfield Joel Hirschhorn & Al Kasha
Shakespeare's Cabaret Lance Mulcahy N/A
36th Tony Awards
Nine Maury Yeston
Dreamgirls Henry Krieger Tom Eyen
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Andrew Lloyd Webber Tim Rice
Merrily We Roll Along Stephen Sondheim
37th Tony Awards
Cats Andrew Lloyd Webber T. S. Eliot
A Doll's Life Larry Grossman Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Merlin Elmer Bernstein Don Black
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Gene de Paul, Joel Hirschhorn & Al Kasha Hirschhorn, Kasha & Johnny Mercer
38th Tony Awards
La Cage aux Folles Jerry Herman
Baby David Shire Richard Maltby Jr.
The Rink John Kander Fred Ebb
Sunday in the Park with George Stephen Sondheim
39th Tony Awards
Big River Roger Miller
Grind Larry Grossman Ellen Fitzhugh
Quilters Barbara Damashek
40th Tony Awards
The Mystery of Edwin Drood Rupert Holmes
The News Paul Schierhorn
Song and Dance Andrew Lloyd Webber Don Black & Richard Maltby Jr.
Wind in the Willows William P. Perry Roger McGough
41st Tony Awards
Les Misérables Claude-Michel Schönberg Herbert Kretzmer & Alain Boublil
Me and My Girl Noel Gay Douglas Furber & L. Arthur Rose
Rags Charles Strouse Stephen Schwartz
Starlight Express Andrew Lloyd Webber Richard Stilgoe
42nd Tony Awards
Into the Woods Stephen Sondheim
The Phantom of the Opera Andrew Lloyd Webber Charles Hart & Richard Stilgoe
Romance/Romance Keith HerrmannBarry Harman
Sarafina! Hugh Masekela & Mbongeni Ngema
43rd Tony Awards


YearProduction (Musical or Play)MusicLyrics
44th Tony Awards
City of Angels Cy Coleman David Zippel
Aspects of Love Andrew Lloyd Webber Don Black & Charles Hart
Grand Hotel Chet Forrest, Bob Wright & Maury Yeston
Meet Me in St. Louis Ralph Blane & Hugh Martin
45th Tony Awards
The Will Rogers Follies Cy Coleman Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Miss Saigon Claude-Michel Schönberg Alain Boublil & Richard Maltby Jr.
Once on This Island Stephen Flaherty Lynn Ahrens
The Secret Garden Lucy Simon Marsha Norman
46th Tony Awards
Falsettos William Finn
Jelly's Last Jam Luther Henderson & Jelly Roll Morton Susan Birkenhead
Metro Janusz Stokłosa Agata, Maryna Miklaszewska & Mary Bracken Phillips
Nick & Nora Charles Strouse Richard Maltby Jr.
47th Tony Awards
Kiss of the Spider Woman John Kander Fred Ebb
The Who's Tommy Pete Townshend
Anna Karenina Daniel Levine Peter Kellogg
The Song of Jacob Zulu Ladysmith Black Mambazo Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Tug Yourgrau
48th Tony Awards
Passion Stephen Sondheim
Beauty and the Beast Alan Menken Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Cyrano: The Musical Ad van Dijk Sheldon Harnick, Peter Reeves & Koen van Dijk
49th Tony Awards
Sunset Boulevard Andrew Lloyd Webber Don Black & Christopher Hampton
50th Tony Awards
Rent Jonathan Larson
Big: the musical David Shire Richard Maltby Jr.
Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk Ann Duquesnay, Zane Mark & Daryl WatersDuquesnay, Reg E. Gaines & George C. Wolfe
State Fair Richard Rodgers Oscar Hammerstein II
51st Tony Awards
Titanic Maury Yeston
Juan Darién Elliot Goldenthal
The Life Cy Coleman Ira Gasman
Steel Pier John Kander Fred Ebb
52nd Tony Awards
Ragtime Stephen Flaherty Lynn Ahrens
The Capeman Paul Simon Simon & Derek Walcott
The Lion King Elton John, Lebo M., Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin & Hans Zimmer M., Mancina, Tim Rice, Rifkin & Julie Taymor
Side Show Henry Krieger Bill Russell
53rd Tony Awards
Parade Jason Robert Brown
The Civil War Frank Wildhorn Jack Murphy
Footloose Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, Tom Snow & Jim Steinman Carmen, Hagar, Loggins, Dean Pitchford & Steinman
Twelfth Night Jeanine Tesori N/A


54th Tony Awards
Aida Elton John Tim Rice
James Joyce's The Dead Shaun Davey Davey & Richard Nelson
Marie Christine Michael John LaChiusa
The Wild Party
55th Tony Awards
The Producers Mel Brooks
A Class Act Edward Kleban
The Full Monty David Yazbek
Jane Eyre Paul Gordon John Caird & Gordon
56th Tony Awards
Urinetown Mark Hollmann Hollmann & Greg Kotis
Sweet Smell of Success Marvin Hamlisch Craig Carnelia
Thoroughly Modern Millie Jeanine Tesori Dick Scanlan
Thou Shalt Not Harry Connick Jr.
57th Tony Awards
Hairspray Marc Shaiman Shaiman & Scott Wittman
Amour Michel Legrand Jeremy Sams & Didier Van Cauwelaert
Urban Cowboy Danny Arena, Clint Black, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Jason Robert Brown, Roger Brown, Carl L. Byrd, Pevin Byrd-Munoz, Jerry Chesnut, Tommy Conners, Tom Crain, Charlie Daniels, Taz DiGregorio, Ronnie Dunn, Fred Edwards, Skip Ewing, Wayland Holyfield, Bob Lee House, Marcus Hummon, Sara Light, Lauren Lucas, Martie Maguire, Wanda Mallette, Jim Marshall, Bob Morrison, James Hayden Nicholas, Luke Reed, Patti Ryan, Jerry Silverstein & Bob Stillman
A Year with Frog and Toad Robert Reale Willie Reale
58th Tony Awards
Avenue Q Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx
Caroline, or Change Jeanine Tesori Tony Kushner
Taboo Boy George
Wicked Stephen Schwartz
59th Tony Awards
The Light in the Piazza Adam Guettel
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels David Yazbek
Spamalot John Du Prez & Eric Idle Idle
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee William Finn
60th Tony Awards
The Drowsy Chaperone Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison
The Color Purple Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell & Allee Willis
The Wedding Singer Matthew Sklar Chad Beguelin
The Woman in White Andrew Lloyd Webber David Zippel
61st Tony Awards
Spring Awakening Duncan Sheik Steven Sater
Curtains John Kander Fred Ebb
Grey Gardens Scott Frankel Michael Korie
Legally Blonde Nell Benjamin & Larry O'Keefe
62nd Tony Awards
In the Heights Lin-Manuel Miranda
Cry-Baby David Javerbaum & Adam Schlesinger
The Little Mermaid Alan Menken Howard Ashman & Glenn Slater
Passing Strange Heidi Rodewald & Stew Stew
63rd Tony Awards
Next to Normal Tom Kitt Brian Yorkey
Billy Elliot the Musical Elton John Lee Hall
Shrek the Musical Jeanine Tesori David Lindsay-Abaire
9 to 5 Dolly Parton


YearProduction (Musical or Play)MusicLyrics
64th Tony Awards
Memphis David Bryan Bryan & Joe DiPietro
The Addams Family Andrew Lippa
Enron Adam Cork Lucy Prebble
Fences Branford Marsalis N/A
65th Tony Awards
The Book of Mormon Robert Lopez, Trey Parker & Matt Stone
The Scottsboro Boys John Kander Fred Ebb
Sister Act Alan Menken Glenn Slater
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown David Yazbek
66th Tony Awards
Newsies Alan Menken Jack Feldman
Bonnie & Clyde Frank Wildhorn Don Black
One Man, Two Guvnors Grant Olding
Peter and the Starcatcher Wayne Barker Rick Elice
67th Tony Awards
Kinky Boots Cyndi Lauper
A Christmas Story: The Musical Pasek & Paul
Hands on a Hardbody Trey Anastasio & Amanda Green Green
Matilda the Musical Tim Minchin
68th Tony Awards
The Bridges of Madison County Jason Robert Brown
Aladdin Alan Menken Howard Ashman, Chad Beguelin & Tim Rice
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder Steven Lutvak Robert L. Freedman & Lutvak
If/Then Tom Kitt Brian Yorkey
69th Tony Awards
Fun Home Jeanine Tesori Lisa Kron
The Last Ship Sting
Something Rotten! Karey & Wayne Kirkpatrick
The Visit John Kander Fred Ebb
70th Tony Awards
Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda
Bright Star Edie Brickell Brickell & Steve Martin
School of Rock Andrew Lloyd Webber Glenn Slater
Waitress Sara Bareilles
71st Tony Awards
Dear Evan Hansen Pasek & Paul
Come from Away David Hein & Irene Sankoff
Groundhog Day Tim Minchin
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Dave Malloy
72nd Tony Awards
The Band's Visit David Yazbek
Angels in America Adrian SuttonN/A
Frozen Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Mean Girls Jeff Richmond Nell Benjamin
SpongeBob SquarePants Yolanda Adams, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Domani, Alex Ebert, The Flaming Lips, Rob Hyman, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Lil'C, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T's, Joe Perry, They Might Be Giants, T.I. & Steven Tyler
73rd Tony Awards
Hadestown Anaïs Mitchell
Be More Chill Joe Iconis
Beetlejuice Eddie Perfect
The Prom Matthew Sklar Chad Beguelin
To Kill a Mockingbird Adam Guettel N/A
Tootsie David Yazbek


YearProduction (Musical or Play)MusicLyrics
74th Tony Awards
A Christmas Carol Christopher NightingaleN/A
The Inheritance Paul Englishby N/A
The Rose Tattoo Fitz Patton & Jason Michael WebbN/A
Slave Play Lindsay Jones N/A
The Sound Inside Daniel KlugerN/A

Award records

Multiple wins

Multiple nominations

Female winners

Only seven women have won this award, four of whom won without male writing partners, and for only eight shows:

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  1. 'Fun Home' songwriters become 1st winning female team Yahoo News
  2. "Tony Award Nominees". The Washington Post . May 13, 2003. Retrieved May 2, 2018.