THE OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN AWARD Gala
This award is named in honor of the legendary lyricist and librettist who helped shape American musical theater through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. His contributions to such landmark musicals as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel are a legacy for all time.
The award was created in 1988 by Janet Hayes Walker, Founding Artistic Director of The York Theatre Company, and is presented with the endorsement of the Hammerstein family and The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding achievement in musical theater.
The Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala is the major annual fundraising event of The York, a mainstay of the New York theater for over 50 years.
Recipients of The Oscar Hammerstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theater
Stephen Sondheim • Betty Comden & Adolph Green • Harold Prince • Cy Coleman • Charles Strouse • Arthur Laurents • Jerry Herman • Stephen Schwartz • Peter Stone • David Merrick • John Kander & Fred Ebb • Terrence McNally • Cameron Mackintosh • Carol Channing • Tony Walton • Joseph Stein • George S. Irving • Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick • Thomas Meehan • Barbara Cook • Paul Gemignani • Alan Menken • Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty • Angela Lansbury • Joel Grey • Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt • Susan Stroman • André De Shields • Richard Maltby, Jr. & David Shire • Leslie Uggams
Recipients of The York Theatre Company Founders' Award
for individuals who have made a significant impact on the sustainability of the arts
Janet Hayes Walker • W. David McCoy • Molly Grose • Sara Tod Smith • Robert Goldberg • Gerald F. Fisher • Betty Cooper Wallerstein • Riki Kane Larimer • Elisa Loti Stein • Ted Chapin
Previous Awards & Galas
2022 - Leslie Uggams
The 30th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Theater was presented on Monday, November 14, 2022, to Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress, singer, and recording artist Leslie Uggams. Leslie made her Broadway debut at the age of 24 in the groundbreaking musical Hallelujah, Baby!, earning Theatre World and Tony awards for her performance. Since then, she has starred on Broadway in Blues in the Night, Her First Roman, Jerry’s Girls, Anything Goes, King Hedley II (Tony Award nomination), Thoroughly Modern Millie, and On Golden Pond with James Earl Jones. Perhaps best known for her stirring portrayal of Kizzy in the landmark TV mini-series Alex Haley’s “Roots” (Critics Choice Award, Emmy, and Golden Globe nominations), Leslie, now in her seventh decade, continues to create memorable roles. Most notably, she can be seen in the Deadpool movies opposite Ryan Reynolds; on television in “New Amsterdam” and “Empire," and more! The event included special guest appearances by Broadway Inspirational Voices, Shoshana Bean, Klea Blackhurst, Lilli Cooper, Gregg Edelman, Jared Grimes, Michael James Leslie, Gerry McIntyre, Christine Pedi, Stephanie Umoh, and Jeffrey Wright.
2021 - Richard Maltby, Jr. & David Shire
The 29th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Achievement in Musical Theatre was presented on Monday, November 1, 2021 to musical theater composing team Richard Maltby, Jr. & David Shire. They have been writing together since they met at Yale (class of ’59), where their first two musicals, Cyrano and Grand Tour, were produced. In the years since, they have written the scores for more than a dozen more musicals, including Broadway’s Baby (1983) and Big (1995), both of which netted them Tony Award nominations for Best Score.The event included special guest appearances by Loni Ackerman, George Lee Andrews, Jenny Lyn Bader, Jordan Barrow, Sierra Boggess, Kerry Butler, Liz Callaway, Margery Cohen, Frenchie Davis, Josh Dela Cruz, Santino Fontana, Montego Glover, Sydney James Harcourt, Daniel Jenkins, Eddie Korbich, Norm Lewis, Charlotte Maltby, Janet Metz, Julia Murney, Christiane Noll, and York Musical Theatre Training Program Alum.
2019 - André De Shields
The 28th Oscar Hammerstein Award was presented on Monday, November 11, 2019 to Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor, André De Shields. De Shields is probably most known for his stellar performances in Hadestown, Ain't Misbehavin', The Wiz, and The Full Monty. The event was hosted by Charlayne Woodard and included special guest appearances by John Ellison Conlee, Robert Creighton, Darius De Haas, Jeffry Denman, Dawn Driver, Mercedes Ellington, Kylie Kuioka, Teresa Eyring, Ron Lucas, Richard Maltby, Jr., Larry Owens, Tony Perry, Malvinna Rose, Melissa Schott, Marc Shaiman, Edward Tolve, Ekele Ukegbu, Ben Vereen, Anita Welch, Freida Williams, Patrick Wilson, David Yazbek, The Alumni Ensemble of The Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem, Students from Marymount College, and York Musical Theater Training Program Alum.
2018 - susan stroman
The 27th Oscar Hammerstein Award was presented on Monday, November 12, 2018 to award-winning Broadway director and choreographer, Susan Stroman. In addition to Richard Maltby, Jr., David Shire, and Matthew Broderick, the line-up of artists included Lynn Ahrens, Sierra Boggess, Nick Cordero, Stephen Flaherty, John Kander, William Ivey Long, Terrence Mann, Debra Monk, Brad Oscar, Laura Osnes, Bryonha Marie Parham, Tiler Peck, David Thompson, Kaley Ann Voorhees, John Weidman, Tony Yazbeck, and Karen Ziemba, among a cast of 60 performers recreating some of Ms. Stroman's most memorable numbers from shows such as Crazy for You, Oklahoma!, Contact, And the World Goes ‘Round, Show Boat, Bullets Over Broadway, Steel Pier, The Scottsboro Boys, The Producers, and more.
2017 - tom jones & harvey schmidt
The 26th Oscar Hammerstein Award was presented on Monday, December 4, 2017 to Broadway legends Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt. The event also featured Gretchen Cryer & Nancy Ford, Robert Cuccioli, John Davidson, Rita Gardner, Adam Kantor, Judy Kaye, Norm Lewis, Samantha Massell, Michele McConnell, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Randy Rainbow, Ben Rimalower, Frances Ruffelle, Christopher Sieber, Lesley Ann Warren, Susan Watson, Well-Strung, Betsy Wolfe, and Freddie Gershon.
2016 - Joel Grey
The 25th Oscar Hammerstein Award was presented on Monday, December 5, 2016 to Broadway legend Joel Grey. The event also featured Carolee Carmello, Robert Creighton, Christine Ebersole, Sutton Foster, Bebe Neuwirth, Rory O'Malley, and Bernadette Peters.
2015 - angela lansbury
The York Theatre Company hosted the 24th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala on Monday, November 16th, 2015 in honor of Angela Lansbury.