Nicholas Delaney, who was resident musician at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and also worked closely with Cohesion Theatre Company, died on Tuesday. He was 34.
Cohesion Theatre founding artistic producer Brad Norris said a statement that the cause of death is not yet known, "but it was incredibly sudden and unexpected."
Mr. Delaney served as music director for Cohesion Theatre's production last weekend of an original work, "The Complete Deaths of William Shakespeare."
Last month, he was music director for Chesapeake Shakespeare's presentation of "A Christmas Carol." That company's founding artistic director, Ian Gallanar, praised Mr. Delenay as "the best kind of artist.
"He was ... always anxious to learn and he loved collaborating. ... He helped shape the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company aesthetic in important ways. We wouldn't be the company we are without Nick. I am very unhappy that we will be without his talent, curiosity, patience and humor," Mr. Gallanar said.
Earlier this season, Mr. Delaney was music director and band leader a staging of "Titus Andronicus." His father joined the band for the production, the first time, the company said, "they were able to play together publicly ... since Nick was a teenager."
For Cohesion Theatre, Mr. Delaney was music director for "13 Dead Husbands" last season and worked on ParityFest Baltimore, which the company spearheaded. He was only recently engaged to Alice Stanley, co-founding artistic producer of the company.
Mr. Norris called Mr. Delaney "an outstanding musician, actor, teacher, and friend. Through his time with Cohesion and Chesapeake Shakespeare Company ... he touched so many lives, and brought his infectious joy to everyone he met.
"His work with students at School of Rock in Columbia made him truly happy by bringing music into the lives of children. His dedication to his work on stage, and his love of performance, Shakespeare, and games with friends were hallmarks of his life. Nick was also a veteran of the United States Air Force, and served his country with honor and distinction," Mr. Norris said.