Gregory Alan Smith, president and managing director of Music Theater Intl., the dramatic performing rights agency founded by Frank Loesser, died Jan. 28 in New York of cancer. He was 48.
A native of Allentown, Pa., he arrived in New York City in 1970 and was employed by Frank Music – Loesser’s publishing company and then parent of MTI. He rose quickly through the ranks and was relied on as a definitive source, both here and abroad, for his encyclopedic knowledge of each song, scene and lyric represented by him.
Smith helped guide MTI for more than 20 years, developing teacher study guides and video instruction kits to accompany scripts and scores to licensed musicals. Throughout his career he supervised the marketing of such classics as “Annie,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “West Side Story,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Music Man,” “The Fantasticks,” “Les Miserables” and the complete collection of Stephen Sondheim musicals.
He introduced western musicals in more than 60 countries. Most recently he had been engaged in exploring intellectual property copyright issues in the People’s Republic of China.
He is survived by cousins and by his longtime companion, Insoo Ko.
In lieu of flowers, Smith requested donations to musical theater programs for young people. Services will be private.