Alan “Buz” Kohan BM 55, MM 56


Alan “Buz” Kohan has been active in the television, music and entertainment industry for over forty years, in the multiple capacities of writer, composer, lyricist, producer, arranger, and creative consultant.

Kohan has been head writer for more than 200 television special and series, including five seasons on the Carol Burnett Show, twenty-eight specials for Perry Como, the Sammy Davis, Jr. series, the Dolly Parton Show, five Bing Crosby specials, five Presidential Inaugural Galas, eight Comic Relief Specials, eighteen Academy Award Oscar Shows, seven People's Choice Awards, seven Emmy Awards, seven Grammy Awards, three Tony Awards, two American Comedy Honors, the Ace Awards, the Country Music Awards, and numerous other award shows and specials. He also wrote and co-produced the Emmy award-winning “Motown 25 Yesterday, Today, Forever” special, the show where Michael Jackson introduced the famous “Moonwalk”. Prominent among the specials he has written and/or co-produced are productions for Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews, Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Hope, Richard Pryor, Diana Ross, The Jackson Five, Goldie Hawn, Carol Burnett, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Michael Crawford, Michael Jackson and the glorious Miss Piggy and the Muppets.

Among the many awards and citations he has received over his career, he is most proud of the thirty-one National Emmy nominations, and thirteen wins from the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, the second highest individual total of Emmy Awards in Academy history. He has also been nominated for and won awards for the Writers Guild, the George Foster Peabody Award, three Ace Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, and the award from the International Film and Television Film Festival of New York.

As a composer and lyricist, he has written a number of million-selling records for such artists as Michael Jackson, (“Gone Too Soon”) Diana Ross, Robert Goulet, The Ray Charles Singers, and the famous Christmas duet for Bing Crosby and David Bowie called, “Peace on Earth”.

Born in the Bronx, New York, he graduated from the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, and then went on to the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, where he got his Bachelor of Music degree in 1955, and his Master of Music degree in 1956 with a major in Composition. For his Masters thesis, he was given permission by Dr. Howard Hanson to write and produce a musical revue, which even though not of a “classical” nature, was the basis for his being granted his Masters degree. The experience of writing, staging and directing that show served him in very good stead over the years, as he would never have been able to get such experience anywhere else but at Eastman.

The Eastman School of Music honored Kohan with its Alumni Achievement Award in 1985.

-From Eastman School of Music Institute for Music Leadership Web site, 11/7/05