‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 117, No. 12December, 2017

Donald Sosin

I rejoined Local 802 after getting a call from Rolfe Kent looking for a pianist for Alexander Payne’s new film “Downsizing.” I had been a union member in the 1970s and 80s but then we moved to rural Connecticut where there were no union jobs. In NYC, I had started with club dates, then Broadway shows as a pianist and assistant conductor. During this fascinating period I got to work with top writers like Mitch Leigh, Cy Coleman, Martin Charnin and great conductors like Stan Lebowsky and Bob Billig (and later Patrick Vacariello and Constantine Kitsopoulos). The hardest gig was playing “Evita” on one rehearsal! I also hired musicians for recording sessions and industrials that I music directed, and spent a year on the road with the national tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” My main activity these days is freelancing as a composer and a pianist for silent films at festivals, museums and colleges here and abroad, and recording my scores for DVDs and television. New works include six hours of music for the Criterion Collection’s Olympics project, and a chamber score for “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” I hope that now that I’m back in the network, I will meet new musical friends. I’d love to organize a group to play my silent film scores around the New York area. I play piano, organ and synth. I live with my family in Connecticut and practice transcendental meditation to get rid of stress and keep my creative juices flowing.