Biographical Information:

Dates: 1948-Dates in Ridgefield: 1971-
plays, musicals, children's books, lyricscomposer, playwright, lyricist, Grammy Award recipient, Academy Award recipient, winner of Ridgefield's Men's B Singles Town Tennis Championship, 1983
Longtime Ridgefielder Stephen Schwartz is one of the most successful Broadway and movie composers and lyricists of the last third of the 20th Century. He became a sensation in 1971 when, only in his early 20s, he wrote the music and lyrics for the highly successful musical, Godspell, for which he won two Grammys. Subsequent successes included the music and lyrics for Pippin and The Magic Show. Born in New York in 1948, Mr. Schwartz grew up on Long Island and attended Juilliard School of Music's Preparatory Division; he graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University with a degree in drama. "I was always interested in music and composing, even as a young child," he said, "but my attraction to musical theater can perhaps be traced to a friendship my parents had with a composer named George Kleinsinger and the fact that I saw a Broadway show for which he had written the music, Shinbone Alley, when I was quite young." Early in his career, he collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, writing the English texts for Bernstein's Mass. In the 1990s, he began working on animated films, winning two Academy Awards in 1996 for Disney's Pocahontas, for which he wrote the lyrics in collaboration with composer Alan Menken of North Salem. He also wrote lyrics to Mr. Menken's music for The Hunchback of Notre Dame; wrote the music and lyrics for the DreamWorks animated feature, The Prince of Egypt, whose song, "When You Believe," won him a third Academy Award. His most recent theater work has included the score for Children of Eden. He provided the songs for an original television musical, Gepetto, seen on the Wonderful World of Disney, and has recently released a CD of original songs, entitled "Reluctant Pilgrim." His play, Wicked, was produced in 2003. In all, Schwartz has won three Oscars, four Grammys, and four Drama Desk Awards. Mr. Schwartz and his wife, Carole, have lived here since 1971, and both their children, Scott and Jessica, grew up here. He cites as his most exciting local achievement his winning the Men's B Singles Town Tennis Championship in 1983.
Title (books):The Perfect Peach (1977)
--Sources: Notable Ridgefielders–Jack Sanders; Wikipedia; www.stephenschwartz.com For a full list of Schwartz’s plays, see www.stephenschwartz.com
Check the library catalog for titles by this author.