Jason Robert Brown

Jason Robert Brown ( born June 20, 1970 in Ossining, New York) is an American musical composer and author. He is often referred to as the representative of a "new school" of theater and musical authors. Brown often appears as conductor or pianist in his own pieces.

Biography and work

Brown grew up near New York City and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. His career began in New York City as an arranger, conductor and pianist for smaller shows, he also played in several nightclubs and piano bars. Brown made in 1995 first attracted attention when his song cycle Songs For A New World ran for a few weeks at the Off- Broadway. The song "Stars and the Moon " from this piece was in the U.S. to a standard of musical cabaret and Browns is currently perhaps the most famous composition. Songs for a New World experienced its German premiere in Hamburg in 2006.

Three years later had his first Broadway musical Parade premiere. Brown won the 1999 parade with the Tony Award for best original composition.

In the two-person play, The Last Five Years ( premiere in 2001 in Chicago, Off-Broadway premiere in 2002 ) Brown handled his first failed marriage. The story is here described from two perspectives: told chronologically While the man, the woman starts at the end of the relationship and ends with the first date of the couple. Both actors interact only in one scene: If the man asks for the woman's hand. The Last Five Years was not a commercial success, the New York production was canceled after two months. Already in 2003, a performance of the play in English took place in Stuttgart, in 2005 it came to the German premiere in Wuppertal.

Brown wrote some songs for the Broadway flop Urban Cowboy, for which composition he was again nominated for a Tony Award. In June 2005, Brown appeared first solo album Wearing Someone Else's Clothes, in December 2005 his choral composition Chanukah Suite was premiered in Los Angeles. In January 2007 the premiere of his new piece 13 was held in Los Angeles.

Music style

Brown's style of composition is complex as he regularly borrows from swing, gospel, folk-rock, rhythm and blues and funk. His piano scores are rhythmically extremely demanding and require the performer great technical skill. It is equally difficult vocal interpretation of his songs - complex and unconventional harmonies characterize his pieces and demand (mainly by male singers ) a large vocal range.

Major works

  • Songs For A New World - Revue premiere at Off- Broadway ( 11 October-5 November 1995)
  • Parade - world premiere on Broadway ( December 17, 1998 to February 28, 1999)
  • The Last Five Years - world premiere at Northlight Theatre, Chicago ( May 23 to July 1 2001)
  • Urban Cowboy - world premiere on Broadway ( 27 March-18 May 2003)
  • Wearing Someone Else 's Clothes (2005) - solo debut album
  • Chanukah Suite ( 2005) - eight -minute, three-part choral piece with influences from traditional Jewish music, rock and roll and the style of Leonard Bernstein
  • 13 - World Premiere on January 7, 2007 in Los Angeles.