The world of Musical Theatre is tonight in mourning for one of its brightest stars. Herbert Kretzmer, lyricist of Les Misérables fame, crafted some of the most beautiful lyrics ever heard in a musical, and fans of Les Mis will know his words from such classic songs as Bring Him Home, I Dreamed a Dream and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.
His work had a deep emotional intensity and added an exquisite poetry to what was already a beautiful score. Yet Kretzmer’s other work often goes unnoticed, despite its familiarity, on classic songs such as She (a hit for both Charles Aznavour and Elvis Costello and used in the film Notting Hill) and the musicals Kristina and Marguerite.
Born in Kroonstad, South Africa to Lithuanian Jewish parents, Kretzmer was an accomplished journalist, critic and documentary writer but it is for his haunting lyrics that he will be best remembered. He passed away at his home in London.