- Amy Asch
Larson, Jonathan (04 February 1960–25 January 1996), composer-lyricist-librettist of Rent, a rock opera inspired by La BohÃ¨me, composer-lyricist-librettist of Rent, a rock opera inspired by La Bohème, was born in Mt. Vernon, New York, and raised in suburban White Plains, the second child of Allan S. Larson, a direct-marketing executive, and Nanette Notarius Larson. Both parents loved music and theater; show tunes and folk music were always playing in their home. Both Larson and his sister took piano lessons during elementary school. The boy could play by ear, and his teacher encouraged him to experiment with rhythm, harmony, and setting words. By high school, he was called the “Piano Man” after the enormously popular song of that title by Billy Joel. He also played tuba in the marching band. Active in school and community theater, Larson had major roles in several musicals....