Nan Schwartz Residency

Composer and arranger Nan Schwartz brings her acclaimed talent for creating lush harmonic landscapes and her experience as a pioneer on the Hollywood music scene to the University of Oregon for a virtual spring residency which will include a masterclass on the art of arranging, a composing workshop, a film scoring session, rehearsals of her work, and discussions on carving out a career in the music industry. 

A number of these are open to all UO students and to the public:  

The Art of Arranging – open to all UO students
Wednesday, May 5, 11:00am – 12:00pm / 6:00pm – 7:30pm
This two-part masterclass will be a signature event for students of orchestration and arranging in both the classical and the jazz idioms.  Ms. Schwartz will take students through several pieces of her own work and of those that have inspired her, sharing wisdom on how to write, what makes for a successful piece, and what to avoid.  All registrants will receive masterclass materials.  Register here!

 Webinar Discussion on Finding Opportunities in the Music Industry – open to the public
Thursday, May 6, 7:30 – 9:00pm
Ms. Schwartz will talk with the UO’s Brian McWhorter about the creative forces that have inspired her throughout her four decades writing for the stage and screen and the creativity it requires to remain relevant in an ever-evolving music industry.  A Q&A portion will follow.  UO students are encouraged to register here, though all attendees can view the webinar at

 Da Capo Series:  “Learn from the Composer” – open to all UO students
Friday, May 7, 2:00 – 3:00pm
This workshop will allow students to receive feedback first-hand from Ms. Schwartz on their compositions and arrangements.   Writers will need to submit work in advance, but all attending students will be able to glean practical lessons for elevating music based on the discussions that follow each submission.  Register here!

About the Artist
It is no surprise that Grammy winner, five-time Grammy nominee and seven-time Emmy nominee Nan Schwartz is considered a pioneer for women composers.  Her family legacy includes a father who played with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and performed on nearly every Frank Sinatra recording, and a mother who performed such chart-topping hits as “Chicago” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street” for musical legend Tommy Dorsey before going on to work as a studio singer for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Henry Mancini, and Sonny and Cher, among others.

Utilizing her lifelong devotion to music and her experience studying piano and singing professionally from an early age, Ms. Schwartz began private studies in film scoring early in her career, which had been a profession previously inaccessible to women.  Award recognition quickly followed Nan’s pioneering efforts in the industry, leading to a record 7 Emmy nominations, a Grammy win for her elegant and sophisticated arrangement of “Here’s That Rainy Day” for Natalie Cole, two 2014 Grammy nominations (Gianmarco & Amy Dickson), and a 2013 Grammy nomination (The London Symphony Orchestra). A proponent of melodic, harmonically rich music, Nan’s unique style has made its mark in film, television, the recording industry, as well as the concert stage.  

After working with Ms. Schwartz on her “Still Unforgettable” album, Natalie Cole remarked that “her arrangements are absolutely divine.  She gives these songs such a visual sense, they come alive and really pull you in.”  Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval has called her work “a masterpiece.”  And John Williams has cited her as “a great arranger.”  Her diversity and depth of experience in all musical venues – themes, songs, episodic television, theater, and film – from all-electronic projects to hundred-piece orchestral settings – have helped create her sterling reputation as one of the world’s most talented composers and arrangers.

Ms. Schwartz is no stranger to sharing her art with audiences either.  Each summer for the past several years she has been a lecturer at the Hollywood Music Workshop in Vienna, which attracts composers and arrangers from around the world.  She has taught at Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain alongside renowned opera singer Placido Domingo.  She also coaches both aspiring and professional musicians from Los Angeles, which she calls home.