"Broadway's Grand Maestro"

by Michael Boss
Oil on Linen
28" X 22"

Offered by Michael Boss to The Emerald Foundation auction for Parkinson's Disease Awareness. Purchased at the Emerald Foundation Gala Auction, 21 NV, 2015, by Ron Straub of Great Bend, Kansas and now in the collection of Darren Straub, Wichita,Kansas.

Phillip J. LangSince childhood, my artistic soul has stretched beyond the brush and into the musical orchestration and arrangements of Broadway. In 1971, I contacted the great Phil Lang. A warm and funny letter from him followed. After that, a very enlightening telephone visit convinced me that being an orchestrator was not my cup of tea. I have always had great admiration for Lang's sheer brilliance and the amount of electricity that he could introduce into a Broadway show, not to mention his adept skill at word painting a song!

In 2002, his wife, Ruth, sent some wonderful photographs of Phil leading the Merchant Marine Service Academy Band down Broadway. It was November 1944 and the opening of 30 Seconds Over Tokyo.

Working with 40 years of black and white photographs, and having never met Phil, I believe that I have finally, painstakingly, truly captured the essence of Broadway's Grand Maestro.

The legendary Philip J. Lang will live forever within the orchestrations of nearly sixty Broadway Shows, including Hello, Dolly!, Mame, Annie, 42nd Street and so many more.

As only Phil could say, "But seriously, a commercial musician has to be superbly equipped - have a hide like an elephant - and a great sense of humor.

Thank you, Phil, for all those wonderful hours of sheer delight.

Phillip J. Lang - Marching Band
Lang leads the Merchant Marine Service Academy Band up Broadway in a rehearsal before the premiere of the movie Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo in November, 1944. In the stands, second from right, is actor Spencer Tracy who portrayed Jimmy Doolittle in the movie. The trombonist, second to Phil Lang's right, is the young arranger/composer Nelson Riddle!