Eli Schildkraut is an NYC-based music director, pianist, conductor, and orchestrator, specializing in the area of musical theater. Originally from Sarasota, Florida, Eli has music directed dozens of shows for a variety of stages, ranging from children's community theatre to regional professional productions. His orchestrations have been heard at Feinstein's/54 Below and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Since moving to Manhattan in 2021, Eli has worked on a variety of projects, including The Wrong Man at MCC Theater, the Broadway-bound revival of Evita at American Repertory Theater, the world premiere of The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, and the sold-out run of Oratorio for Living Things at Ars Nova. Most recently, he was hired as a Keyboard 2 substitute for the Broadway production of Disney's Aladdin. Additionally, he has worked with TADA Youth Theater and Brooklyn Children's Theatre, teaching children as young as five years-old musical theatre skills in both on-site and public school settings.
As a music director in Boston, Eli was active in the local theatre scene, music directing and conducting shows like The Last Five Years, Spelling Bee, and American Idiot at Berklee College of Music, as well as The View UpStairs and Songs for A New World at Speakeasy Stage Company, Boston's premiere professional theater. Eli also worked as an accompanist for many of Boston Conservatory's vocal studios and classes. During this time, Eli cultivated his skills in music mixing and production, becoming fluent with recording software like Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, and Mainstage.
Before his time in Boston, Eli worked for many summers at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, music directing multiple shows each summer such as Chicago, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, and Violet. As a teenager, he music directed shows at one the largest community theaters in the United States, Venice Theatre, where he worked on productions of The Rocky Horror Show and James and the Giant Peach, among others.
Overall, Eli's affinity for music and music direction stems specifically from a love of storytelling. His main focus when working on a musical is to have each actor grow their character through the music. When Eli music directs, he focuses on the lyrics just as much as the music; to him, nothing in music is an accident. Every single note and word is designed to progress the character and story, and it brings Eli great joy to discover these moments and bring them out through his work.
Eli recently completed a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Contemporary Writing and Production with a minor in Theater Music Direction at Berklee College of Music.