Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times


Stephen Schwartz
Live: North side of the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born March 6, 1948 in New York, NY

A Broadway composer who has also worked frequently in Hollywood, Stephen Schwartz has penned some of the most successful musicals of the American theater, including “Godspell,” “Pippin” and “Wicked.”

Schwartz was born and raised in New York where he studied at the Juilliard School of Music. After earning a degree from Carnegie Mellon University, he started working in musical theater, earning his first Broadway credit at age 21 for composing the title song for the play “Butterflies Are Free.”

The '70s were a highly productive decade for Schwartz. “Pippin” opened on Broadway in 1972, garnering the composer his first Tony nomination for original score. (The production won Tonys for Bob Fosse’s direction and choreography.) In 1974, “The Magic Show” bowed on Broadway, featuring music by Schwartz, and ran for more than four years.

“Godspell,” Schwartz’s musical based on parts of the New Testament, opened on Broadway in 1976 after a successful off-Broadway run. The show earned Schwartz a Tony nomination for original score.

His other stage credits include the musicals “Working” and “Rags,” both of which bombed on Broadway.

The composer’s film career took off with the 1995 Disney animated movie “Pocahontas,” for which he won two Academy Awards for original song and score for a musical or comedy. He also won an original-song Oscar in 1999 for the DreamWorks animated film “The Prince of Egypt.”

Schwartz’s other film credits include “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Enchanted,” both of which earned him a combined total of four Oscar nominations.

“Wicked,” which opened on Broadway at the George Gershwin Theater in 2003, represented Schwartz’s big return to the stage. The musical, which is a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” spawned a successful national tour while continuing to play in New York. Schwartz received a Tony nomination for his score to “Wicked” but lost again.

In 2009, the composer produced his first opera, “Seance on a Wet Afternoon,” which premiered at Opera Santa Barbara.

Schwartz’s son, Scott, is an theater director who works frequently with his father.

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1995 Best Original Song "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas Win*
    1995 Best Original Musical or Comedy Score Pocahontas Win*
    1996 Best Original Musical or Comedy Score The Hunchback of Notre Dame Nomination*
    1998 Best Original Song "When You Believe" from The Prince of Egypt Win
    1998 Best Original Musical or Comedy Score The Prince of Egypt Nomination*
    2007 Best Original Song "Happy Working Song" from Enchanted Nomination*
    2007 Best Original Song "So Close" from Enchanted Nomination*
    2007 Best Original Song "That's How You Know" from Enchanted Nomination*
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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