Why I like Jason Robert Brown

composer jason robert brown

Jason Robert Brown is a 46 year-old student of composition from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Two of his biggest influences in music are Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Sunday in the Park with George. Had it not been for these two, Jason would have joined a rock band, probably as a singer.

composer jason robert brown
Photo provided by the Huntington Theater Company.

Jason’s first job as a teenager was delivering pizza. Let’s just say it does not go well for everyone. His first theatrical job was as a director for Cole, a musical revue for Cole Porter. This took place at Elmwood Playhouse, Nyack, New York. He directed this aged 15 years old.

He owes his success as a composer to never settling down to one thing, even at an early age. He was always pushy and aggressive and never settled down for anything. Always knew and felt he could do more in any situation. This is a great attribute for anyone to emulate.

Jason’s landmark productions include: Honeymoon in Vegas, which was performed at the Nederland Theatre in 2015, The Bridges of Madison County, which played at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in 2014, 13, which he produced in 2008, The Last Five years which premiered in 2001 in Broadway and then featured as a film in 2015. The story of this last composition was based on his failed marriage to his first wife.

Why Jason inspires me is that despite some failures in life, he has learnt to enjoy the moment. He appreciates that his shows get done and are well accepted, and he gets a lot of joy when he sees how people are enjoying his music. He is currently married to a composer wife, and together with their two daughters, live in New York.

Failure is a word that is not in Jason’s vocabulary. Over the years as he writes his music, he has learned that with all the family and societal obligations he has, he has to five his all to ensure that the music he writes gets accepted and continues to earn him more money. For a long time he didn’t think he was doing the right thing, but as years went on and from the successes he has encountered, he is convinced that he took the right path.

Jason has earned a number of accolades along the way. He has won the Tony Awards for best original score for Parade and the Bridges of Madison County and another Tony for orchestration for Bridges of Madison County. He also won a Drama Desk Award for outstanding music for Parade, The Last Five Years, The Bridges of Madison County and a Drama Desk Award for outstanding lyrics for The Last Five Years. This is an amazing feat for someone so young.

Jason is a composer who loves to play and sing his own music. He is currently working on a new musical and his best advice to people is “Be Yourself”. People have got to like you for what you are, this is very important and an inspiration. Another inspiration from Jason is that he always works with people who are better than him, that way he will improve himself to become a better person. Very inspiring.

To learn more about Jason Robert Brown, check out his website.

 

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