Associate Teaching Professor of Music Theater
Rick Edinger is an accomplished music director, vocal coach, pianist, and actor. For the School of Drama, he has served as Music Director on Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, Cabaret (dir. Tomé Cousin), and Into the Woods (dir. Matthew Gardiner), as well as Vocal Coach/ Music Advisor for A/B Machines. In the 2020-2021 season, he will music direct a virtual production of HAIR (dir. Jason A. Sparks). Edinger also proudly co-chairs the CMU School of Drama’s Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion committee with colleague, Professor Tomé Cousin.
Edinger is in the process of writing and editing his first book, The National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Nuts & Bolts Guide to Producing New Musicals. As a strong advocate for the development of new works, he plays a large role in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s annual endeavors and will begin serving on the NAMT Board of Directors in May 2021. For the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s annual Festival of New Musicals, Rick has served as consultant on Hart Island by Danny Larsen and Michelle Elliott (directed by Raja Feather Kelly), The River Is Me by Troy Anthony and Sukari Jones (directed by Schele Williams) and Interstate by Melissa Li and Kit Yan (directed by Jesca Prudencio). In the upcoming season, Edinger will serve as a consultant on the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (PCLO) New Works Literary Team.
Edinger began his career as an actor, appearing in the 2004 Tony nominated Broadway revival of Pacific Overtures (dir. Amon Miyamoto) and the Broadway benefit concert production of Children and Art: A Tribute to Stephen Sondheim on the Eve of his 75th Birthday (dir. Richard Maltby, Jr.). Regionally, he has performed in Symphony Space’s Wall to Wall Sondheim, Roundabout Theatre Company’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Chelsea Piers, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Mount Washington Valley Theatre Company, and many houses across the United States and Europe. His television appearances include As the World Turns, Love Monkey, and Starved. He has also been featured on the 2004 Broadway revival recording of Pacific Overtures with PS CLASSICS and Wall to Wall Sondheim with XM SATELLITE RADIO.
Edinger has served as music director, vocal coach, and accompanist for numerous academic institutions. He recently served as Music Director for Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre’s productions of Hairspray and Newsies. Edinger gives masterclasses in musical theatre throughout the United States and serves on faculty for ArtsBridge, The College Audition Conservatory, and The Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute. In the 2016-2017 season, he served as vocal director for Hunter Opera Theatre’s performance of Kristin Chenoweth’s My Love Letter to Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. He has been a guest music director at New York University Tisch School of the Performing Arts and served on faculty at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University, The County College of Morris, and The College of Saint Elizabeth. Other institutions and projects include ArtsBridge, The City University of New York- Hunter College & Brooklyn College, Bronx Opera, Coópera: Project Opera of Manhattan, Brightest Star School of the Performing Arts, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Mount Washington Valley Theatre Company, and The Talent Company.
Edinger has also worked as a collaborative pianist with Broadway performers and singers from the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, and more. As a vocal coach in New York for over 10 years, Edinger’s former and current clients have performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, on national/ international tours, and in regional houses across the globe. He maintains a private studio as vocal coach in New York & Pittsburgh.
Edinger’s children’s musical, Alice, written in collaboration with Joe Barros (Artistic Director, New York Theatre Barn) and based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, recently debuted at Weathervane Playhouse (VT) in summer 2018 and played a sold-out run in New York with Out of the Box Theatrics. The Out of the Box Theatrics production of Alice was recognized by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society was recognized as a “Standout Moment” of the 2018-2019 theatre season for its immersive environment that featured a cast of actors with disabilities.
Edinger trained at Manhattan School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Brooklyn College, and Hunter College. He has studied piano with Gerardo Teissonniere and Geoffrey Burleson and studied voice with Mignon Dunn, Joan Caplan, and Maitland Peters. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, and Musicians United for Social Equity.