Born in Pittsburgh, Stephen Flaherty began piano lessons at age seven and knew his calling to compose musicals at the age of twelve. After studying at the University of Cincinnatti College-Conservatory of Music, he pursued further studies at NYU.
Flaherty’s first successful musical was Once on This Island, which made it to Broadway in 1990. His longtime collaborator Lynn Ahrens, whom he met in 1982, has written the lyrics for many of his most successful musicals.
Flaherty’s concert music includes setting the poetry of Dana Gioia and Paul Muldoon. His song cycle Seven Deadly Sings was written for soprano Audra McDonald and premiered at Carnegie Hall.