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Robert Lopez

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Robert Lopez

Biography

Robert Lopez (23 February 1975, Manhattan) is an American songwriter of musicals best known for co-creating The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q, and for penning the songs featured in the Disney Animation feature film Frozen.

Robert Lopez is part Filipino descent through his father, Frank. He spent much of his childhood in Greenwich Village. When he was six years old, "it was a fluke" that he started piano lessons at Greenwich House Music School, because the apartment they were subletting happened to have a piano in it. At age seven, his parents bought a piano for him, he saw his first Broadway show, and he wrote his first song. At age 11, he wrote his first opening number.

Lopez went on to Hunter College High School and then to Yale University, where he graduated in 1997 with a B.A. in English (the type of academic degree expressly discussed in the second song of Avenue Q). While at Yale, he wrote three plays (of which two were musicals), was a member of the Yale Spizzwinks(?) a cappella group, and was influenced by professors such as Vincent Scully, John Hollander, and Harold Bloom. During his time at Yale, he vaguely hoped to make a living writing musicals and "had no [other] career options"; towards that end, he avoided courses that would prepare him for a career in something useful, like law or medicine.

In 1998, while participating in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, he met another aspiring songwriter, Jeff Marx. In 1999, Lopez and Marx, who collaborated on both music and lyrics, began work on Avenue Q, a stage musical which, using puppet characters, dealt with adult themes and ideas. The show proved both a critical and popular success, winning the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical, and earning Lopez and Marx the Tony Award for Best Original Score. The Original Cast Recording was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004.

In early 2006, Lopez collaborated with his brother, Billy, on several episodes of the Nickelodeon series Wonder Pets, for which they shared a Daytime Emmy award with the series' other composers and Music Director, Jeffrey Lesser, in 2008. In January 2007, a musical adaptation of the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo, which Lopez co-wrote with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, opened at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

On January 18, 2007, Lopez and Marx again collaborated to write four of the songs for the hit TV show Scrubs on the show's 123rd episode titled "My Musical." TV Guide named the episode one of the best 100 TV show episodes of all time in 2009.

In 2005, Lopez began working on a new musical project with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park. The Book of Mormon premiered on Broadway in 2011. The show received numerous theater accolades, including the 2011 Tony for Best Musical, as well as two more Tony Awards for Lopez: Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. The production's original cast recording also earned Lopez the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Lopez and his wife Kristen also wrote seven songs for Winnie the Pooh, released in 2011 by Walt Disney Animation Studios. In 2013, Lopez and his wife Kristen wrote songs for Disney Animation's feature film Frozen. The song Let It Go won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, making Lopez the 12th person to win all four major annual American entertainment awards (the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony).


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References

Robert Lopez, Wikipedia