Tim Grundmann, pianist, playwright, composer, author, TV scriptwriter, editor, musical genius and humorist extraordinaire, passed suddenly of a heart attack on December 10th. He was 65.
Tim made an indelible mark on the Washington, D.C. theater scene as a prolific playwright, and nationally as a writer for children's TV shows and books.
Tim's career took off after he earned a B.A. from Oberlin Conservatory and an M.A. from the University of West Virginia, both in piano performance.
Recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts grant, Tim embarked on a seven-year career as Playwright in Residence for the New Playwrights' Theatre in Washington, D.C., from 1976 to 1982. There, he was the composer, lyricist, pianist and musical director for thirteen zany, catchy musicals and plays, from Sirocco to Nightmare!! and Dear Desperate. Scripts, scores, audio and video recordings of Tim's work will be in the New Playwrights' Theatre Archive at the Smith Performing Arts Library of the University of Maryland, College Park. See highlights from Tim's days at NPT at
His books in the Doug Chronicles series were published by Disney Press. He was part of the creative team behind Pee-wee's Playhouse on CBS and developed the HBO comedy Norman's Corner with Seinfeld creator Larry David. As head writer and story editor for the Disney Channel's New Mickey Mouse Club and Nichelodeon's Doug, he guided scripts from concept to final draft.
In New York, Tim composed, performed and recorded for ballet, including several CDs with David Howard.
Tim's composition "Junk Mail" is performed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zIG
yxAq6Ic and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMm
Watch Jeff Probst introduce Tim playing the piano on the FX channel in 1995:
The second of six children, Timothy Michael Grundmann traveled throughout Europe and the U.S. as the dependent of an Air Force pilot turned military diplomat. Tim's first language was Greek, because of his father's posting in Athens. Ironically, Tim's hand was seriously injured in an escalator accident as a toddler. Thanks to a gifted surgeon, he develop a keen interest in the piano in Germany. He would often take back-to-back lessons when his brothers were conveniently unavailable, leaving the teacher, Frau Koch, exhausted. Tim continued his studies as the family moved to Rhode Island and Virginia, where he simultaneously attended McLean High School and studied piano theory at American University. Throughout high school, Tim was in the Madrigal Singers and was involved in the theater and music departments, often accompanying productions.
Tim is survived by his husband and piano duet partner, Rami Cohen of Brooklyn, NY and Tel Aviv, Israel. He also leaves his brothers William of Silver Spring, MD, Denis of San Francisco and Mike of Harrisonburg, VA and sister Maureen (Mimi) Rozes of Jamestown, RI. He was predeceased by his father, Col. William Grundmann, mother, Kathleen Grundmann Murphy and his sister, Mary Kathleen Rabe. He also leaves niece Emily Rozes of Chapel Hill, NC, nephews Philip Rozes of Jamestown, RI, Fletcher Grundmann of Arlington, VA, and grandnephew Matias Grundmann.
Donations to Make-a-Wish Foundation with cards to [email protected]
Published by New York Times from Dec. 21 to Dec. 22, 2015.