Freddie Gershon began his career as an entertainment attorney who graduated from law school the same year the Beatles went on the Ed Sullivan show… a turning point in pop culture history and a propitious factor in his career. Armed with eight years of serious music study at The Juilliard School and The Art Student League, respect for artists, the creative community and cultural change, he represented many individuals, some of whom became prominent in the fields of music, film, theatre and producing.
Ultimately, he became a film and theatre producer, a part owner and COO of a history-making, highly successful entertainment company, a proponent in protecting intellectual property and an active player in the defining moments of contemporary pop culture and successes on the stage, screen and in music.
After graduating from the Columbia Law School in 1964, Mr. Gershon began practicing at a music/theatrical law firm and subsequently (1971) became counsel to The Robert Stigwood Group Ltd. (U.K.) on matters in the United States. During this time, RSO was establishing itself through its landmark “Superstar” concert tours and thereafter its London and Broadway production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” As the company moved its focus more to the United States, Mr. Gershon became involved in film financing and distribution.
By 1976, his work with Stigwood had expanded, but the U.K. was not an environment for growth. He structured and oversaw a reverse takeover of RSO’s then publicly-traded parent U.K. company. Mr. Gershon immediately became President, Chief Operating Officer and a Partner in The Stigwood Group of Companies worldwide.
Freddie escalated his involvement with Columbia Law School and its alumni activities and became a guest speaker on subjects relating to entertainment law, recording, publishing, the representation of artists and motion picture packaging. He sought to get recognition in law schools for intellectual property rights to be integrated into their curricula.
At the behest of Preston Robert Tisch, he joined the Development Committee for NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has been on the advisory boards of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the Cardozo Entertainment Law Journal and served on the board of ArtsConnection and joined the board of the School of American Ballet, acting as a consigliere to both Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine.
Mr. Gershon has also been active in Columbia University’s Center for Law, Media and the Arts, dedicated to helping individuals and corporations protect intellectual property and to educate and guide them in the commercial applications of their creative product.
Freddie took a seven-year sabbatical from "work". In the late ’80s, he acquired and became Chairman and CEO of Music Theatre International (MTI), one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway and beyond. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these musicals to provide official scripts, materials and resources to over 70,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.
In 1994, Mr. Gershon conceived MTI’s Broadway KIDS/Broadway JR. introducing musical theatre in 30- and 60-minute versions of Broadway works to elementary and middle schools adapted for performance by students (author approved). Since 1994, over 100,000 separate productions have taken place with 300,000 performances in America, involving 4,000,000 children. In 2012 he received the TONY HONOR for conceiving and creating the Broadway Junior Collection.
Culminating a life of business successes, Mr. Gershon and his wife Myrna have expanded their activities as they embrace a philosophy of helping younger generations with educational and cultural programs they are creating and funding. They are devising, through experiential learning and mentorships, inventive and engaging programs designed to provide others with the experiences and tools to better society. In May of 2013 the New-York Historical Society 15th Annual American Musicals benefit honored them for their activities in musical theater education. They are involved with "adopting" seven N.Y.C. schools with special needs children and creating and subsidizing "learning through the arts programs" to help these children in social skills, reading and generally improve the quality of their lives.
Mr. and Mrs. Gershon live in New York City and have been married 43 years. They live with their Tibetan Terrier… Buddy.