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Broadway Composers

Today’s Top 5 Broadway Musical Composers

When we think of where the best songwriters in showbiz are, we look to Broadway. That iconic stage has been home to the work of luminaries such as Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Richard Rogers. While the talents of these songwriters should never be in doubt, it’s also valuable to look at who’s making a name for themselves on the big stage today. Here are the top 5 Broadway composers whose work is currently playing.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)

With Hamilton (2015), Lin-Manuel Miranda perfectly embodied the concept of a singer-songwriter taking two seemingly disparate elements and mashing them together to create something truly remarkable (not to mention incredibly successful). A man of great passion and conviction, Miranda was able to channel his passion into a hip-hop-influenced musical retelling of the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. His music has received numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, and is currently on its second U.S. tour. Miranda is currently set to co-star alongside Emily Blunt in the upcoming Mary Poppins sequel, entitled Mary Poppins Returns. Other notable works: In the Heights (2005), Disney’s Moana (2016)

Elton John (The Lion King)

Elton John is a powerhouse of pop music. While most people are familiar with his hits like “Rocket Man”, “Pinball Wizard”, and “Tiny Dancer”, his Broadway work first made an appearance in 1982 with Rock and Roll! The First 5,000 Years. However, at the risk of dismissing his other Broadway musicals, it is The Lion King (1997) that has shown John’s staying power. Since its first show in 1997, The Lion King has gone on to become the highest grossing Broadway production of all time with over $1 billion. Although the hit musical is still running to this day, John has kept busy; his most recent work, Rocktopia, came out in March of this year. Other notable works: Lestat (2006), Billy Elliot: The Musical (2008)

Stephen Schwartz (Wicked)

Much like many other top songwriters listed here, Stephen Schwartz has an illustrious Broadway career that spans decades. Although his talents aren’t limited to the stage (Schwartz contributed lyrics to the soundtracks for Disney animated films such as Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame), his work as a composer and lyricist for the musical Wicked (2003) has secured his legacy as one of the all-time greats. Need proof? Wicked has become the sixth longest-running Broadway musical, has won several Tony Awards, and is currently being adapted into a film. It is second only to The Lion King in terms of Broadway revenue. Other notable works: Godspell (1970), Pippin (1972)

Trey Parker Matt Stone and Robert Lopez (The Book of Mormon)

When you hear the names Trey Parker and Matt Stone, you aren’t typically associating them with Broadway. But while the duo may be more popular as the creators of the hit TV series South Park, the truth is that their musical, The Book of Mormon (2011), is nothing to sneeze at. Parker and Stone collaborated with Avenue Q co-writer Robert Lopez to create this award-winning Broadway musical comedy. The musical has grossed over $500 million and is currently running in Copenhagen, Denmark. Other notable works: South Park, Avenue Q (Lopez, 2003

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen)

Dear Evan Hansen shows that a Broadway musical can succeed even without a far-flung, fantastical setting. Lyric and music composer Benj Pasek took events from his own high school experience as the basis for this award-winning Broadway musical, which is currently on a tour throughout the US. The play has enjoyed further popularity with a novelization, as well as a companion book entitled Dear Evan Hansen: Through the Window to delight die-hard fans. Other notable works: A Christmas Story: The Musical (2012), “City of Stars” from the film La La Land (2016)

Who’s your favorite music composer? Leave us your comments.

You might also like these related blogs on top songwriters:

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