Schwartz will complete the term of musical theatre great Cy Coleman, who died Nov. 18. Coleman, who was writer vice chairman of the ASCAP board at the time of his death, had served 38 consecutive years as an ASCAP board member.
Commenting on the selection of Schwartz, Marilyn Bergman said, "Stephen Schwartz has been a prominent contributor to the American musical theatre and music for film. He has given a great deal, as well, as a member of The ASCAP Foundation Board and as the energetic long-time artistic director of the ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshops in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. We welcome the addition of his dynamism and vision to the ASCAP board."
Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the current smash hit Broadway musical Wicked, which just celebrated its first anniversary on Broadway. He provided music and lyrics to Godspell, for which he won several awards including two Grammys (Best Writer and Best Producer), Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Studs Terkel's Working (which he also adapted and directed), and Children Of Eden. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Mass, which was commissioned to open The Kennedy Center, and wrote lyrics to Charles Strouse's music for Rags.
He collaborated with Alan Menken on the scores for the Disney animated features "Pocahontas," for which he won two Academy Awards (Best Song and Best Score from a Musical or Comedy) and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." He also wrote words and music for the DreamWorks animated feature "The Prince of Egypt," for which he won another Academy Award for the song "When You Believe." He also provided music and lyrics for the original television musical, "Geppetto," seen on "The Wonderful World of Disney."
Schwartz has recorded two solo albums of new songs entitled Reluctant Pilgrim (1997), and Uncharted Territory (2001). This year, 2004, marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of ASCAP. As the world's largest performing rights organization, ASCAP has nearly 200,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members representing all genres of music. According to its mission, "ASCAP is committed to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works, and then distributing these fees to the Society's members based on performances."
ASCAP's board of directors is made up solely of writers and publishers, elected by the membership every two years.