Bruce Coughlin photo

Orchestrations for Broadway, Theater, Concert and Film

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Check out new Video Clips (Annie Live!, Darren Criss, and more) on the Videos page
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Podcast Interview:

Metal Up Your Podcast, Episode 201: Clint, Ethan and I discuss the orchestrations and arrangements for S&M2 -- the Metallica mega-concert with the San Francisco Symphony! Check it out here:

Goin' Hollywood logo
Goin' Hollywood (Stephen Kole, David Krane; Gabriel Barre, dir.) (WaterTower Theater, Dallas)

AnnieLive logoAnnie Live! The beloved musical aired Dec 2 on NBC starring Celina Smith, Harry Connick Jr, Nicole Scherzinger, and Tituss Burgess. Now streaming on Peacock! Happy to be a part of an amazing orchestration team with Lynne Shankel, Brian Usifer and Stephen Oremus (not to mention Phil Lang!).

S&M2 logoS&M2 now streaming on PBS for Passport members! Visit for more info. And of course you can purchase the film on Blue-ray and DVD from the usual sources.

Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For (Strayhorn/Ellington, Zellers, Gash; Kent Gash, dir.) (starring Darius de Haas) (Pittsburgh Public Theater, Fall 2023)

How to Dance in Ohio logo
How to Dance in Ohio (Rebekah Greer Melocik, Jacob Yandura; Sammi Cannold, dir.) (P3 Productions) (Broadway, Fall 2023)

The House (opera) (Ricky Ian Gordon/Lynn Nottage and Ruby Gerber) (Opera Theater of St Louis) (co-orchestation with the composer) (2023-24 Season)

Light in the Piazza logo
The Light in the Piazza (Adam Guettel/Craig Lucas) (ENCORES). Directed by Chay Yew. Starring Ruthie Ann Miles, Anna Zavelson, James D. Gish.

Man of No Importance logoA Man of No Importance (Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens/Terrence McNally) (Classic Stage Company). Directed by John Doyle. Starring Jim Parsons, Mare Winningham, AJ Shively, Shereen Ahmed.

Knoxville logoKnoxville (Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens/Frank Galati) (Asolo Rep - Sarasota, FL). With Jason Daniely, Paul Alexander Nolan, Hannah Elless, Jack Casey. Based on James Agee's A Death in the Family.

S&M2 logo Metallica and The San Francisco Symphony joined forces in the fall of 2019 for a truly epic concert: S&M2. The concert celebrated the 20th anniversary of the legendary 1999 concert (and CD) S&M which had arrangements by Michael Kamen. For this new concert I added orchestrations and arrangements for Metallica songs from the last 20 years: Halo On Fire, Confusion, Moth Into Flame, The Unforgiven III, All Within My Hands, The Day That Never Comes plus a new orchestration of Master of Puppets and a rewrite/reworking of the Geoff Alexander/Michael Kamen chart for Enter Sandman. (available on CD, DVD and Blue-ray)

(Two videos from the concert -- All Within My Hands and Moth Into Flame -- are on my Videos page)

"A must see." Louder
"...the arrangements succeed in accentuating and underlining Metallica’s playing, particularly on more dynamic tracks like The Day That Never Comes and S&M staple No Leaf Clover. A version of The Unforgiven III where Hetfield sings solo with the string section is a highlight sonically..." Consequence of Sound

Check out audio clips on the audio page.

Knoxville logoKnoxville(Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens/Frank Galati) (Broadway Records). With Jason Daniely, Paul Alexander Nolan, Hannah Elless, Jack Casey. Based on James Agee's A Death in the Family. Streaming now. Physical release: November 11.

AnnieLive logoAnnie Live!

Metallica: S&M2 (Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony; Michael Tilson Thomas, Edwin Outwater, conductors) (Rhino/Blackened Recordings)
Arias and Barcarolles (Bernstein; San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas; Isabel Leonard, Ryan McKinny) (SFS Media)

Awards (Best Orchestrations):
TONY and Drama Desk Awards: The Light in the Piazza (co-award with Ted Sperling and Adam Guettel)
OBIE Award Floyd Collins

Nominations (Best Orchestrations):
TONY Award: Grey Gardens, Urinetown
Drama Desk: War Paint, First Daugher Suite, Giant, 9 To 5, Grey Gardens, Urinetown, Floyd Collins, The Sound of Music, See What I Wanna See, The Burnt Part Boys

Other Awards:
Shen Family Foundation Musical Theater Leadership Award

Press quotes:

1 / 6

Metallica: S&M2 (Metallica and The San Francisco Symphony) (Rhino/Blackened Recordings)

...adding exciting new arrangements, including ones that further push the boundaries of what a Heavy Metal band is supposed to do, Metallica not only succeeded with ‘S&M2’ but created another historic, landmark performance in their still growing and relevant live legacy.

(Bruce Oberkrieser: "Exceeding Expectations with S&M2" -- METALTALK)

2 / 6

Arias and Barcarolles (Bernstein; Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony) (SFS Media)

This recording features a version orchestrated by Bruce Coughlin; it is truly masterful. Bruce, one of Broadway’s genius arrangers, has such a sense of the sound of Broadway and the sound of Bernstein. It is everything that Bernstein would have wanted it to be.

(Michael Tilson Thomas, in the liner notes to the 2018 recording).

3 / 6

Grey Gardens (Michael Korie/Scott Frankel) (PS Classics)

Mr. Coughlin's orchestration for "Grey Gardens" is ambrosia — I have been addicted to the CD for months. He has the woodwinds, in particular, burbling and blending and commenting on the songs in an intoxicating way — what that man can do with a bassoon alone. He is a Michelangelo of orchestration.

John McWhorter (Manhattan Institute) in an editorial commentary in the New York Sun (6/14/2007) about the 2007 TONY award for Best Orchestration.

4 / 6

Far From Heaven (Michael Korie/Scott Frankel) (PS Classics)

Frankel's music and Korie's lyrics soar again and again and again; Far From Heaven offers a feast of glorious musical theatre writing...well supported by a stunning set of orchestrations from Bruce Coughlin, who did a similarly fine job on last winter's Giant.

(Steven Suskin: "On the Record" -- Playbill Online)

5 / 6

Giant (Michael John LaChiusa) Sh-k-boom/Ghostlight

We should also make special mention of the orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin. These are not just song orchestrations; they are a full musical tapestry and highly impressive.

(Steven Suskin: "On the Record" -- Playbill Online)

6 / 6

Assassins (Stephen Sondheim; Jamie Lloyd, dir.) (At the Chocolate Factory, London)

...this superlatively acted production is as thrilling as it is bone-rattling... As nimbly orchestrated by Bruce Coughlin for an eight-piece orchestra, under the lucid musical direction of Alan Williams, it unfurls like a tattered flag rippling in an icy wind.

(Isherwood -- NY Times)