Musical theater-film composer Stephen Schwartz conducts a master class for Harvard undergraduate composers today, Dec. 9, beginning 3 PM, at the Adams House Lower Common Room.
Harvard University's Learning from Performers program and the Harvard Hillel Office of the Arts is sponsoring the Schwartz residency. Harvard Hillel will presenting the composer's musical Children of Eden Jan. 13-16, 2000.
Schwartz' accomplishments in musical theatre and film make him a popular educator among young artists and others seeking to improve their craft. He also conducts with the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop.
As reported earlier, Stephen Schwartz wrote music and lyrics for the stage productions Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972), and The Magic Show (1974), and directed his own adaptation of Studs Terkel's Working (1978). In 1986 he wrote the lyrics for Charles Strouse's Rags, which recently had a revival at Paper Mill Playhouse. For films, he has collaborated with composer Alan Menken (a 1997 Learning From Performers visiting artist) on the scores for the Disney animated features "Pocahontas" (1995), for which he received two Academy Awards, and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996). Hunchback has been adapted as a stage musical and is now playing in Berlin. Schwartz also wrote the songs for Dreamworks' first animated feature, "The Prince of Egypt" (1998), for which he won another Academy Award for Best Original Song. In addition to his Academy Awards, Schwartz won two Grammy Awards for Godspell, as well as a Drama Desk Award for the direction of Working. His most recent work for the theatre is the score for Children of Eden, with a book by John Caird. The cast album of the recent Paper Mill Playhouse production of the musical has been released on RCA Victor Records in both double-CD and single-CD highlights versions. Schwartz has just completed music and lyrics for an original television musical, "Geppetto," to be seen on "The Wonderful World of Disney" in May 2000. He has released a new CD entitled "Reluctant Pilgrim," on which he sings 11 new songs. "The Stephen Schwartz Album," featuring Schwartz's songs performed by top Broadway talent, was recently released on the Varese Sarabande label.
Harvard's Learning from Performers was established in 1975 to bring leading artists in music, dance, theatre, film and the visual arts together to meet and work with Harvard undergraduates, other members of the Harvard-Radcliffe community, and the general public in a wide range of educational sessions. For information on the program call Thomas Lee, program coordinator, (617) 495-8676 or visit www.radcliffe.edu/arts. -- By Murdoch McBride