Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz

Composer, Lyricist


Biography


Stephen Schwartz is a phenomenally successful composer and lyricist who has worked across stage, film, and television. He was born in 1948 in New York City and studied piano and composition at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music while in high school. He then went on to study drama at Carnegie Mellon University, graduating in 1968. After beginning his career as a producer for RCA Records, he soon began to work on Broadway and his first success was composing the title song for the play, Butterflies Are Free (1969).

Schwartz's breakthrough came in 1971 when he composed the music and wrote the lyrics for Godspell, for which he won two Grammy Awards. Over the next four years, he wrote the music and lyrics for Pippin (1972) and The Magic Show (1974). Schwartz's success on Broadway was cemented when Godspell, Pippin, and The Magic Show all ran at the same time for a period in 1974.

Schwartz continued to compose and direct on and off Broadway during the course of the 1980s and, in 1995, he began to work in film. His first project was working with Alan Menken on the 1995 Disney film, Pocahontas, for which he won two Academy Awards and a Grammy Award. He also worked on The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt, and, more recently, Enchanted.

In 2003, Schwartz achieved phenomenal success with the musical Wicked, which is still running on Broadway and London's West End. 2008 saw the musical reach its 1900th performance - a first for any songwriter on Broadway. Schwartz has also recently moved into opera, with Seance on a Wet Afternoon opening at Opera Santa Barbara in 2009 and subsequently produced by the New York City Opera.

Schwartz has been inducted into both the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a book about his life, Defying Gravity, has been released by Applause Books.


Shows by Stephen Schwartz

Title
Synopsis

A charming tale of love and bread in a provincial French village, The Baker’s Wife never reached Broadway, but received favorable reviews and developed a cult following. The story opens with Denise, the cafe owner’s wife, wel... read more

Captain Louie is a one-act musical that takes place in present day New York City and focuses on a brave little boy, Louie. Poor Louie has just moved to a new neighborhood, away from his friends. On Halloween Night, using onl... read more

Stephen Schwartz and John Caird’s musical, Children of Eden casts the beloved biblical stories of Genesis through the personal lens of family. An epic musical with an original cast of sixty , Children of Eden starts with the... read more

Based on the Gospel according to Matthew, Godspell is the first musical theatre offering from composer Stephen Schwartz who went on to write such well-known hits as Wicked, Pippin, and Children of Eden. The show features a co... read more

Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew and drawing from various theatrical traditions, such as clowning, pantomime, charades, acrobatics and vaudeville, Godspell Junior is a groundbreaking and unique reflection on the l... read more

What makes a monster and what makes a man? This is the central theme of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a sweeping, grand-scale musical from Disney Theatrical. Based on the 1996 Disney film and Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel, The Hunc... read more

As told by a traveling troupe of actors led by the cunning and charming Leading Player, Pippin is the story of a young prince, heir to the throne, who is searching for his own “corner of the sky.” Pippin returns from universi... read more

Rags tells the story of a naive Russian immigrant, Rebecca. She has just come to America with her young son and they struggle to make a life for themselves. While she searches for her husband who arrived earlier in America,... read more

Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz takes place before L.Frank Baum’s classic Wizard of Oz story ever began. Before Dorothy was even alive, two young girls met in the Land of Oz, became rivals,... read more

Working concerns the hopes, dreams, joys and concerns of the average working American. In the course of one twenty-four hour workday, the audience meets and hears stories of various workers including the schoolteacher, the pa... read more

Overview

Nationality
American
Born
3/6/1948
Show Categories
Musical
Genres
Comedy, Romance, Drama, Farce, Historical/Biographical, Dark Comedy, Fairy Tale/Fantasy

Clips