Paul Schwartz is a writer, director and composer. His work is in the field of dramatic story-telling in all its forms, and encompasses projects in film, theatre, opera and dance. He is a member of ASCAP, the Dramatists Guild, and the Playwrights and Directors Unit of the Actors Studio.
He recently completed his first feature film: THE SEASONS, which consists of four linked stories each filmed in a different season of the year. The film has been out to festivals since September and has already won a slew of awards: multiple best feature and best director awards, as well as a number of awards for individual cast members and the entire cast as an ensemble.
His last film, A NEW YORK STORY, was completed in January of 2021. The film addresses the tumultuous summer of 2020, as four entwined New Yorkers tell stories of how their lives have been shaped by the protests, the pandemic, and the unforeseen consequences of both. So far the film has won over two dozen awards: for the film itself, and for best cinematography, best screenplay, best cast and best director. In 2018 he completed his first film: TIME CAN BREAK YOUR HEART, a short which deals poignantly with memory, loss, and the power of love, and which has also received over two dozen awards.
He is currently at work on his next film: SHADOWS AND LIGHT, which will begin shooting early in 2023. It tells the story of a photographer, enclosed by grief, who unexpectedly finds that a window opens when he is forced to confront a young thief.
Also active as a playwright, his play A MEASURE OF DOUBT was a standout hit at the 2020 New York Winter Festival of Plays. Other recent projects include A DATE and THE SIENA QUARTET: performed as part of the Actors’ Studio Kazan Festivals of June 2013 and 2014. His play AN IDEAL TRUTH has had readings at Manhattan Theatre Club and TACT. Other plays in development at the Studio include BRILLIANCE, TRUST and AWAKE AGAIN.
Mr. Schwartz is the composer of a musical based on Edith Wharton's SUMMER, which won the Richard Rodgers award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and went on to have productions by the York Theatre in New York, and the International Festival of Musical Theater in Cardiff, Wales.
He is the composer of two operas. ORPHEUS ’68, commissioned by a consortium of Scandinavian opera companies, explores the junction of politics, art and romance against the background of the Prague Spring in 1968. It received its widely acclaimed premiere in 2012. SNEHVIDE (Snow White) is a children's opera. It is both targeted to an audience of children, and is entirely performed by children. It was commissioned by Operaen I Midten in Denmark, and received its premiere in November of 2017, performed by a company of 64 singers and dancers aged from 7 to 17.
Mr. Schwartz has composed ballet scores for New York City Ballet (twice), Milwaukee Ballet, Ohio Ballet and The Royal Ballet. He has conducted for NYCB and Ballet Rambert, as well as serving as the musical director of several Broadway shows, including PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, SONG AND DANCE, and ON YOUR TOES. He has also served as a conductor and musical director for both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre in London. He began his conducting career as an assistant to Andre Previn with the Pittsburgh Symphony, leading a contemporary music series.
As a record producer Mr. Schwartz has sold over 750,000 of his own records world wide, and many millions more through his collaborations: notably with Josh Groban, Carlos Santana and David Foster. He is the creator of two popular series of cds: the ARIA series, and the STATE OF GRACE series. STATE OF GRACE III won the NAR Lifestyle Album of the Year award. The ARIA cds continue to be something of a cult: both in the US, and especially in Europe, with the result that most recently some of his music was used in a Superbowl commercial for Alfa Romeo.
Mr. Schwartz received his education at the Royal College of Music, London University, and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He is the recipient of the Adrian Boult Conducting Prize, a composition prize from the Royal Ballet, and two New York Foundation for the Arts composition prizes.