Arts & Entrepreneurship: A Conversation with Kurt Deutsch about His Journey Innovating the Musical Theater Industry


Location: 34 Chambers Street, 115

Speaker: Kurt Deutsch

Mr. Kurt Deutsch in a blue button down shirt on a chair in a music studio, photo taken by Alex Turshen

In partnership with the Lewis Center for the Arts, the Keller Center is pleased to welcome Kurt Deutsch, Founder of Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, and Senior Vice President, Theatrical & Catalog Development for Warner/Chappell Music, to the Princeton Entrepreneurial Hub for a dinner talk on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Deutsch will discuss his entrepreneurial journey from performing to producing in the musical theater industry.

This event is open to undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and alumni. Space is limited. Dinner will be served and registration is required.


Speaker Bio

Kurt Deutsch is an actor, director, record producer and film producer. He is the Senior Vice President for Theatrical & Catalog Development for Warner/Chappell Music, and President of Sh-K-Boom Records, a division of Warner Arts Music. Upon his joining Warner/Chappell Music, CEO Jon Platt stated that “Kurt is one of the most prominent figures in the Broadway world, having built Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight into a major force in musical theatre. His exceptional creative instincts, deep relationships in the theatrical community, and extensive experience in encouraging and cultivating composers will be invaluable as we continue to expand our service to songwriters. Today, the theatrical world is in the midst of a renaissance, and Kurt is a leader of this new generation of incredibly gifted songwriters, who are creating brilliant music that transcends genres and cultures."

In 2000, Deutsch founded Sh-K-Boom Records, an independent record label that aimed to bridge the gap between pop/rock and theater. In 2004, a new musical theater subsidiary of Sh-K-Boom, Ghostlight Records, was created to focus on more traditional scores and cast recordings. As of 2015, the label has over 150 albums in its catalog, including The Book of Mormon (musical), In the Heights, the Original Cast Recording, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and New Off-Broadway Cast Recordings of The Last Five Years, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Something Rotten!, The Bridges of Madison County (musical), Disney’s Newsies (musical), the 2013 revival of Pippin (musical), Cinderella (2013 Broadway production), Next to Normal, the 2009 revival of Hair (musical), Legally Blonde (musical), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Everyday Rapture, Passing Strange, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (musical), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone and many more Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. 

As producer, Deutsch received his first Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 2009 for The Original Broadway Cast Album In The Heights along with fellow producers Alex Lacamoire, Andrés Levin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joel Moss & Bill Sherman. He has since received two more Grammy Awards for Best Musical Show Album for The Book of Mormon: Original Broadway Cast Recording and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. 

As an actor Deutsch appeared on Broadway in Broadway Bound, A Few Good Men, he appeared off broadway and in regional theatres around the country. He was a series regular on the television series The Human Factor and Winnetka Road, and he guest starred on Sex and the City, Law & Order, Quantum Leap, Matlock, and Models Inc. His film roles included The Eye of the Storm, The First To Go and Labor Pains.