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Paul Schwartz

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Paul Schwartz, a son of the songwriter Arthur Schwartz and actress/dancer Mary Schwartz, began to take music lessons at age four and started formal piano lessons at six. He moved to London, England, at the age of 12 and studied at the Royal College of Music, where he earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in composing and conducting. After graduating, he worked as a pianist and assistant conductor for West End musicals and as conductor for Ballet Rambert. Later, he returned to the U.S. and became assistant conductor of the Washington Opera in Washington, D.C., then held the same post with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. While continuing to work in the classical world, he returned to the musical theater, working as musical director for such shows as Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song & Dance and The Phantom of the Opera. After composing music for ballets and other stage works, he was signed as a recording artist to Astor Place Records and in 1997 released Aria, a collaboration with Mario Grigorov containing electronic adaptations of opera arias, which became a considerable success in the field of classical crossover. Revolution (1998) contained Schwartz's arrangements of Beatles songs, and Aria 2: New Horizon (Café Del Mar Music, 2000) was another hit on the classical crossover charts. The religiously oriented State of Grace (2000), released on Windham Hill Records, scored on the new age charts. In May 2002, under the name the Paul Schwartz Project, the composer/conductor released Earthbound, his first album to consist entirely of his own compositions. His next recordings were sequels to his previous successes, State of Grace II: Turning to Peace (2003), Aria 3: Metamorphosis (Koch, 2004), and State of Grace III (Zakatak Music, 2006). ~ William Ruhlmann

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