It is no surprise that Grammy winner, five-time Grammy nominee and seven-time Emmy nominee Nan Schwartz is considered a pioneer for women composers.
Her family legacy includes a father who played with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and performed on nearly every Frank Sinatra recording, and a mother who performed such chart-topping hits as “Chicago” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street” for musical legend Tommy Dorsey before going on to work as a studio singer for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Henry Mancini, and Sonny and Cher, among others.
But Nan Schwartz didn’t immediately set out to follow in her parent’s footsteps, instead opting for a career in television production. A skiing accident was the catalyst that brought her back to the world of music. While on the mend, she began private studies to pursue her secret ambition: film scoring, a profession previously inaccessible to women. Utilizing her lifelong devotion to music and her experience studying piano and singing professionally from an early age, Nan embarked upon a successful career that has seen her score and orchestrate music for countless memorable television series and films, including In the Heat of the Night and Argo.
Award recognition quickly followed Nan’s pioneering efforts in the industry leading to a record 7 Emmy nominations, a Grammy win for her elegant and sophisticated arrangement of “Here’s That Rainy Day” for Natalie Cole, two 2014 Grammy nominations (Gianmarco & Amy Dickson), and a 2013 Grammy nomination (The London Symphony Orchestra). A proponent of melodic, harmonically-rich music, Nan’s unique style has made its mark in film, television, the recording industry, as well as the concert stage. Nan’s diversity and depth of experience in all musical venues – themes, songs, episodic television, and film – from all-electronic projects to hundred-piece orchestral settings- have helped create her sterling reputation as one of the world’s most talented composer/arrangers.
Highlights from Nan’s diverse career include:
- Stylistic scores for a number of television movies and series including In The Heat of The Night.
- Grammy Award winning arrangements for Natalie Cole, Grammy nominations for arrangements for Peruvian pop singer Gianmarco (2013 Latin Grammy Album of the Year nominee), Alto Saxophonist Amy Dickson, the London Symphony Orchestra, and John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
- Orchestration on the 2021 Oscar ®-nominated score to Mank, (directed by David Fincher), Godzilla, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part I, Argo, The Life of Pi, Julie and Julia, Benjamin Button, and Uptown Girls, among others.
- Numerous arranging credits for artists Trijntje Oosterhuis and the Metropole Orkest, Ray Charles, jazz clarinetist Eddie Daniels, the vocal group Accent, jazz vocalists Mark Murphy and Kevin Mahogany, opera singer/crossover artist Thomas Quastoff, and trumpeter Till Brönner.
- A CD series for Warner Bros. Discovery Records entitled “Jazz at the Movies.”
- Symphony commissions from The Durango Symphony (2021), The New American Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, and The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
- Songwriting, including the Emmy-nominated “All The Days”, collaborations with the iconic lyricist Paul Williams, as well as numerous songs for the Latin market.
- Conducting orchestras in America and Europe, including the Deutsches Symphonie Orchestra of Berlin.
After composing the music for the indie feature film Stella, Nan embarked on a new venture–composing for musical theatre. This collaboration with lyricist Lorraine Feather, In The Wash, (aka Le Lavoir Au CanCan) is currently in development, along with a second musical, The Grammarians.
An album of her symphonic compositions, recorded in June 2016 at the new Synchron Stage in Vienna, Austria, was released in March, 2018.
A piece from that album, “Angels Among Us,” received 2nd Prize in 2019’s American Prize competition.
Nan has conducted a 17 piece orchestra performing her music in three sold-out concerts at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Jazz Grill. Featured performers included Arturo Sandoval, Till Bronner, Hendrik Meurkens, Tierney Sutton, Michael Dees, and Javier Almaráz.
Nan teaches annually at the Hollywood Music Workshop in Baden, Austria. In February 2017 she traveled to Valencia and Madrid, Spain, where she lectured at Berklee College of Music and spoke on a panel with renowned opera singer Placido Domingo. Most recently, Nan traveled to Berklee, Boston, as a Herb Alpert Visiting Professor for the 2021-22 academic year.