COMPOSER OF THE MONTH - JUSTIN HURWITZ
He was born on 22 January, 1985 in Los Angeles - California. His parents are Ken Hurwitz and Gail Hurwitz, writer and classical dancer, respectively.
Justin began to play piano at the age of six and composed his first song when he reached ten.
In 1998 his family moved to Wisconsin and he joined Nicolet High School. During this time, he took some lessons with pianist Stefanie Jacob at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee.
Some years later, he attended Harvard University, where he was a classmate of the director Damien Chazelle. Both collaborated at that time in several projects together:
(2003) Chester French: An indi-pop band formed by David-Andrew Wallach (vocalist), Maxwell Drummey (multi-instrumentalist), Damien Chazelle (drummer), Michael Judge (bassist) and Justin Hurwitz (pianist).
(2009) Guy and Madeline on a park bench: Filmed in black and white, this musical film tells the story of a up-and-coming jazz trumpet player from Boston and an aimlessness woman looking for work.
Fortunately, the Chazelle/Hurwitz relationship did not end at the University, on the contrary, it has been reinforced in recent years with new works:
(2014) Whiplash: It depicts the relationship between an ambitious jazz student and an abusive instructor.
(2016) La la Land: Which we will talk about later.
(2018) First Man: The plot is about the life of Neil Armstrong, the first man who stepped on the Moon.
As we know, so far the most famous of these works has been the musical La la Land, whose score was worthy of winning two Academy Awards (“Oscars”) –best original score and best original song for City of Stars-, two Golden Globes –best original score and best original song for City of Stars)-, a BAFTA Awards for the best original score... and we could go on.
The songs and score for La la Land were composed and orchestrated by Justin Hurwitz and the lyrics were written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The whole soundtrack is full of authentic masterpieces, within the style of musicals movies, such as Another day of Sun, Audition or City of Stars.
We could say that, despite the awards obtained, Hurwitz is starting his career as a film composer and we predict a successful career for him. Shall he work as a team with Chazelle such as Spielberg/Williams or Burton/Elfman?
Who knows? We`ll see, in time.
You can find some of his videos in this blog by clicking on the menu.