Kay, Hershy, American composer, arranger, and orchestrator; b. Philadelphia, Nov. 17,1919; d. Danbury, Conn., Dec. 2, 1981. He studied cello with Salmond and orchestration with Thompson at the Curtis Inst, of Music in Philadelphia (1936–40), then went to N.Y., and began a fruitful career as an arranger of Broadway musicals and ballets. He orchestrated a number of Leonard Bernstein’s theater works: On the Town (1944), Peter Pan (incidental music; 1951), Candide (1956; revival, 1973), Mass (1971), and the Bicentennial pageant 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (1976). His last arrangement for Bernstein was Olympic Hymn (Baden-Baden, Sept. 23, 1981). His other orchestrations for Broadway include A Flag Is Born (1947), The Golden Apple (1954), Once upon a Mattress (1958), Juno (1958), Sand Hog (1958), Livin’ the Life (1958), Milk and Honey (1961), The Happiest Girl in the World (1961), 110 in the Shade (1963), Coco (1969), A Chorus Line (1975), American Musical Jubilee (1976), Music Is (1976), On the Twentieth Century (1977), Evita (1979), Carmelina (1979), and Barnum (1980). He made numerous arrangements for the N.Y.C. Ballet, among them Cakewalk (1951, after Gottschalk), Western Symphony (1954, after cowboy songs and fiddle tunes), The Concert (1956, after Chopin), Stars and Stripes (1958, after Sousa’s marches), Who Cares? (1970, after Gershwin), and Union Jack (1976, after popular British music). His ballet arrangements for other companies include The Thief Who Loved a Ghost (1950, after Weber), L’Inconnue (1965), The Clowns (1968; a rare 12-tone arrangement), Meadowlark and Cortège Burlesque (1969), Grand Tour (1971, after Noel Coward), and Winter’s Court (1972). He also orchestrated a Gottschalk piano piece, Grand Tarantella, for Piano and Orch. (1957) and completed the orchestration of Robert Kurka’s opera The Good Soldier Schweik (N.Y., April 23, 1958).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire