Richard "Dick" Gallagher
1955 - 2005
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Dick Gallagher graduated with honors from the Northwestern University School of Music. He received his masters degree from the University of Illinois at Champagne. Arriving in New York, he immediately began accompanying a wide variety of some of the city's most well-known cabaret singers, appearing several times at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, the Oak Room at the Algonquin, Rainbow & Stars, the Carlyle, The Russian Tea Room and every important cabaret room in the city. He was best known for his masterful piano accompaniment of the cream of the New York cabaret scene. Along with Mark Waldrop he wrote the scores for three award winning off-Broadway reviews. WHAT NOT won the 1990 Richard Rodgers Production Award and WHOOP-DEE-DO was the winner of the 1993 Outer Critics Circle Award. However, it was the run-away hit, WHEN PIGS FLY, which the duo created with Howard Crabtree that has proven to be most popular of their creations. Bette Midler recorded one of the songs from that score, "Laughing Matters." (Midler- Good Morning America) WHEN PIGS FLY has been produced internationally after an extended run in New York, having won the 1996 Outer Critics Circle award for Best Musical Review, and the Drama Desk Award for Best Off-Broadway musical.
The cast albums for these shows have been best sellers worldwide. He also wrote the words and music for the off-Broadway musical HAVE I GOT A GIRL FOR YOU: The Frankenstein Musical, along with the title song for the Charles Busch comedy, YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY. Also written with Mark Waldrop were two shows for the New York based theatre company, Theatre Works: GOLD RUSH and A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Dick also wrote many pop songs and played countless shows with friend Lina Koutrakos's band as her Musical Director at the legendary Bottom Line.
He became famous for creating unique and New York Times reviewed musical arrangements for Liza Minnelli, Karen Akers, Liliane Montevecchi, Julie Wilson, Hildegard, Bruce Vilanche, Andrea Marcovicci, David Staller, Charles Busch, Karen Mason, Sally Mayes, Lina Koutrakos, Laura Kenyon, Mandy Patinkin, KT Sullivan, Jeff Harnar and Phillip Officer among dozens of others. He's won more MAC awards (the New York Cabaret award) than any other pianist has yet to date. For the last several years of his life he was arranger, accompanist and conductor for Patti Lupone. Along with writer/director Scott Whittman Dick created several shows for Lupone, which they performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, on Broadway and cabaret appearances and concerts internationally.
Dick Gallagher spoke French fluently, was what the world might call a "true gentleman" and had an extraordinary sense of humor. He passed away from complications due to AIDS in 2005 at the age of 49. He was always thrilled by new talent and was never happier then when he could help the singer take it the "next level". It is because of this and his adorable Midwestern accent that we give as much as we can on his behalf and in his name in the form of a scholarship.