Learn your Defying Gravity concert stars well! Stephen Schwartz

Defying Gravity, a world premiere concert celebrating the work of acclaimed composer Stephen Schwartz, will premiere at Sydney’s Theatre Royal for two performances only on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 February 2016. If you’re a fan of international musical theatre, you won’t want to miss this exciting musical event! It has a stellar line up of performers – headlined by none other than Tony Award-winning Sutton Foster and Broadway heartthrob Aaron Tveit, and features renowned West End star Joanna Ampil, Broadway and film icon Betty Buckley, and two of Australia’s own talents Helen Dallimore and David Harris.

Stephen Schwartz
Composer Stephen Schwartz

At the concert you’ll hear Stephen Schwartz classics such as Day by Day, Colors of the Wind, When You BelievePopular, Corner of the Sky, Beautiful City, Meadowlark and, of course, Defying Gravity.

In the lead up to the concert, we want to make sure you know everything you need to know about these talented stars, and about Stephen Schwartz, the man behind the magic, so we have created a handy series of beginners’ guides to all these big names! Next up is the man himself, Stephen Schwartz. Put your learning caps on, and make sure to book your tickets now – they’re  selling fast!

Stephen Schwartz 101

Who he is:

Stephen Schwartz is a New York born and bred composer. He studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music while in high school and graduated Carnegie Mellon University with a B.F.A in Drama. He has written the scores for a number of hugely successful Broadway musicals, as well as collaborating with Alan Menken on the Disney films Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Enchanted. He also provided songs for DreamWorks’s The Prince of Egypt. Schwartz isn’t just confined to musical composition – he has also written an opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, has dabbled in directing, and often teaches musical theatre workshops in New York and Los Angeles.


Shows he’s worked on:

Godspell (Broadway), Pippin (Broadway), The Magic Show (Broadway), The Baker’s Wife (Broadway), Working (Broadway), Mass (Broadway), The Perfect Peach (Broadway), Personals (Off-Broadway revue), Gepetto (Original television musical), Rags (Broadway), Children of Eden (Broadway), Wicked (Broadway), Séance on a Wet Afternoon (Opera).


3 Oscars (Best Original Song for ‘When You Believe’ from Prince of Egypt and ‘Colors of the Wind’ from Pocahontas, and Best Original Musical Score for Pocahontas), 3 Grammys (Best Musical Theatre Album for Wicked and Godspell, and Best Song Written for Visual Media for ‘Colors of the Wind’), 4 Drama Desk Awards (Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding Musical for Wicked, Outstanding Director of a Musical for Working, Most Promising Composer for Godspell) , 1 Golden Globe Award (Best Original Song for ‘Colors of the Wind’), Outer Critics Circle Award (Outstanding Broadway Musical for Wicked), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award (Best Song for ‘When You Believe’), and the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre.

In 2008 he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

At the 2015 Tony Awards, Schwartz received the Isabelle Stevenson Award for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent.

Fun Fact:

He’s the only songwriter in Broadway history ever to have three shows run more than 1900 performances (Wicked, The Magic Show and Pippin).

Essential viewing:

Here Schwartz explains the idea that sparked ‘For Good’, and even sings a bit himself.

An exciting mash up of some of Schwartz most well loved songs; ‘Spark of Creation’ from Children of Eden, ‘Just Around the Riverbend’ from Pocahontas, ‘Corner of the Sky’ from Pippin, and ‘Out There’ from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.


Bec Caton

Bec has a diploma in musical theatre and is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English. She is a freelance theatre writer in Sydney.

Bec Caton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *