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Justin Hurwitz

Justin Hurwitz
Justin Hurwitz (30116702391) (cropped).jpg
Hurwitz in 2016
Born 1985 (age 31–32)
Education Nicolet High School
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Composer and screenwriter
Parent(s) Ken Hurwitz
Gail Hurwitz

Justin Hurwitz (born 1985)[1] is an American film composer and a television writer. He is best known for scoring the film La La Land.[2][3][4][5] He also scored Damien Chazelle's two other features, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench and Whiplash.

For La La Land, he won two Academy Awards: Best Original Score and Best Original Song (for "City of Stars") as well as the Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (for "City of Stars"), and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.[6]

Personal life

Hurwitz was born in California, the son of Gail (née Halabe), a ballet dancer turned registered nurse, and Ken Hurwitz, a writer.[7][citation needed] His family is Jewish (from Russia, Poland, Aleppo in Syria, and Beirut in Lebanon).[8][9][10][11] His family moved to Wisconsin in 1998[7] where he attended Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin.[12][13]

Hurwitz met director Damien Chazelle at Harvard University where they played in the indie-pop band, Chester French.[7] They consequently became roommates and went to collaborate on a student film that would become Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench which was released in 2009.[7][5] Hurwitz also wrote for the Harvard Lampoon while in school.[7] After college, Hurwitz and Chazelle moved to Los Angeles where Hurwitz wrote comedy for the sitcom The League and one episode of The Simpsons.[7] Thanks to the success of Guy and Madeline, they were able to obtain financing for their next collaboration, the 2014 film Whiplash - with Hurwitz scoring the film and Chazelle writing and directing.[7] Whiplash won three Oscars.[7]



Year Film Role
2009 Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench Composer
2014 Whiplash Composer
2016 La La Land Composer


Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Simpsons Writer Episode: "The Falcon and the D'ohman"
2011 The League Writer 7 episodes
2017 Curb Your Enthusiasm Writer/Producer[14]

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ Jewish Weekly: "The tribe goes to the Oscars" by Nate Bloom. February 13, 2017.
  2. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 10, 2016). "How 'La La Land' Director Damien Chazelle, His Team & Lionsgate Faced the Music & Resurrected the Original Hollywood Musical". Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  3. ^ "'Moonlight' Named Best Picture by L.A. Film Critics". Yahoo!. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  4. ^ Orr, Christopher (December 9, 2016). "The Novelty and Nostalgia of 'La La Land'". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Bryan Abrams (September 23, 2014). "Whiplash Composer Justin Hurwitz Settles the Score". 
  6. ^ "Justin Hurwitz wins best original score in a motion picture at Golden Globes". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Jewish News of Northern California: "News go to the Oscars; Justin Hurwitz’s proud Marin mom; etc." by Nate Bloom February 27, 2017 |"Both my children are very proud of their Middle Eastern heritage and culture"
  8. ^ Times of Israel: "La La Land: Who knew it was so Jewish" by Francine Wolfsiz February 27, 2017
  9. ^ Jerusalem Post: "HOW DID JEWISH TALENT FARE AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES?" January 9, 2017
  10. ^ Jewish Telegraph Agency: "Oscars 2017: 7 unexpected Jewish facts" By Gabe Friedman February 23, 2017
  11. ^ Connecticut Jewish Ledger: "La La Land’s Jewish composer nominated for Oscar" January 25th, 2017
  12. ^ Chris Foran (January 9, 2017). "Nicolet's Justin Hurwitz wins 2 Golden Globes". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
  13. ^ TMJ4 News: "Nicolet HS graduate Justin Hurwitz wins 2 Golden Globes for 'La La Land'" by Brandon Rook January 9, 2017
  14. ^ []

External links