Born: 6 March 1948
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Best known as: Composer of the Broadway hits Wicked and Godspell
The hit musical Godspell, about a modern-day Jesus who attracts a group of clown-like followers, lifted Steven Schwartz to fame at age 23. Godspell opened in 1971, ran for more than 2,600 performances off and on Broadway, and earned Schwartz two Grammy Awards for its music, featuring the pop hit "Day by Day." Steven Schwartz also wrote lyrics for Leonard Bernstein's 1971 Mass. Then came more Broadway shows: Pippin (1972, winning Tony Awards for director Bob Fosse and actor Ben Vereen), The Magic Show (1974, starring Doug Henning), The Baker's Wife (1976), and a musical based on the Studs Terkel novel Working, which won Schwartz a Drama Desk Award as director (1978). In the 1990s he wrote the stage musical Children of Eden and collaborated on three animated Disney movies: Pocahontas (1995, winning two Oscars for best song and best score), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and The Prince of Egypt (1998, again winning an Oscar for best song). He had another Broadway blockbuster with the show Wicked, for which he wrote music and lyrics; the show began a multi-year run on Broadway in 2003. He was Oscar-nominated again (along with Disney music veteran Alan Menken) for his score to the 2007 Disney film Enchanted. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2010.
Steven Schwartz and his wife, Carole, met at a summer-stock theater, married in 1969, and had two children, Scott and Jessica. Scott became a professional theater director… Steven Schwartz’ first major credit was the title song of the 1969 Broadway play Butterflies are Free, later used in the 1972 movie as well… Steven Schwartz’ agent was Leonard Bernstein’s sister. She encouraged Bernstein to see Godspell; this led to the Mass collaboration… Schwartz sang new songs of his own on recordings issued in 1997 and 2002… Steven Schwartz has been nominated six times for Tony Awards but has never won.
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