Freddie Gershon Biography
Freddie Gershon an entertainment attorney, a lecturer in entertainment law and intellectual property, published author of Sweetie, Baby, Cookie, Honey, a roman a clef novel about the music industry of 1960s thru 1980s, and former COO of the Stigwood Group of companies, and since 1990 co-owner (with Sir Cameron Mackintosh) and CEO and Chairman of Music Theatre International, the largest dramatic performing rights licensing organization in the world. (Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Guys and Dolls, The Music Man My Fair Lady ,Peter Pan, Pippin, West Side Story, thirteen musicals by Stephen Sondheim and several hundred additional titles).
A classical musician who studied for eight years at The Juilliard School of Music, Gershon graduated from Columbia Law School in 1964. His early accomplishments include representing film director Michael Ritchie, stage director choreographer Ron Field, playwright /lyricist Tom Eyen, and the rock band Chicago, Van Morrison, Shel Silverstein, Bette Midler, Peter Allen, Phil Ochs, Marvin Hamlisch, Neil Sedaka and others. In 1971, Gershon became counsel to The Robert Stigwood Group Ltd. and represented them on the landmark Jesus Christ Superstar as well as Blind Faith, Derek & the Dominoes, Eric Clapton, The Bee Gees and arranged the U.S. financing/distribution of the film version of The Who's Tommy. On behalf of also RSO Records he secured the rights to the sound tracks for Fame, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Bugsy Malone. In 1976 Gershon became a partner with Robert Stigwood and President/COO of the Stigwood Group of companies globally, producing Saturday Night Fever and Grease as well as managing Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Bee Gees, Andy Gibb and Eric Clapton.
Subsequently, Gershon acquired and has been the Chairman/CEO of Music Theatre International (MTI) since the late 1980’s. He was awarded a Tony Honor in 2012 for conceiving, developing and launching, MTI's Broadway Junior Program, which is designed to bring art, theater, dance and music to children grades one thru middle school.
Gershon was also an owner/Co-Chairman of SESAC, (founded 1938) a private "small performing rights" music licensing and collection organization. Sesac was sold to a division of The Blackstone Group in 2017.
Gershon lives in New York City with his wife, Myrna. They devote much of their time to charitable endeavors focused on the arts, teachers and education.
About Music Theatre International
Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway and beyond. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these shows to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide, with offices in Australia and Europe, and based in New York City.