Photos with Nicholas Britell
Nicholas Britell is an award-winning composer, pianist, and producer. His music has most recently been featured in director Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning film 12 Years A Slave, for which he composed and arranged the on-camera music including the featured violin performances, spiritual songs, work songs, and dances. His work on 12 Years a Slave was widely acclaimed, including being recognized by Variety, which named the 12 Years a Slave soundtrack among its "Top 10" of 2013. Read more... "the most talented young artists at work." He is currently scoring Jack Riccobono's upcoming documentary The Seventh Fire. Britell has also written the score for the film Gimme the Loot (directed by Adam Leon), which won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW in March 2012 and was an Official Selection for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In addition, he was the composer of the award-winning PBS documentary Haiti: Where Did the Money Go? (winner of the 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award and a CINE Golden Eagle). He was awarded the Henry Mancini Fellowship from the ASCAP Foundation in December 2012 and was also the winner of the ASCAP/Doddle Award for Collaborative Achievement. Britell also serves on the executive board of the LA Dance Project and is Chairman of the New York based Decoda Ensemble, a cutting-edge classical ensemble comprised of graduates of the Carnegie Hall/Juilliard "Academy" program. As a producer, he has produced the short film Whiplash directed by Damien Chazelle, which won the Jury Award for Best US Fiction Short at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. After the success of the Whiplash short, he helped produce the feature-film version of Whiplash which won Sundance's 2014 Jury Prize as well as the 2014 Sundance Festival Audience award. Sony Pictures Classics is distributing Whiplash and it was released in theaters in October 2014. In addition to serving as co-producer on the feature, Britell also recorded and produced music for the soundtrack (including the songs "No Two Words" and "When I Wake), in addition to writing the song "Reaction" featured in the film. Britell has also co-founded with Benjamin Millepied The Amoveo Company, a multimedia production company and artists' collective. Among their recent projects, Amoveo collaborated with director Alejandro Iñárritu to produce his short film Naran Ja; other projects include ballet and film commissions from Van Cleef & Arpels, production work with Canal+ in France, and brand partnerships with Feit shoes and Maiyet. As a pianist, for the past three years, he has been performing as part of the critically-acclaimed "Portals" project with violin virtuoso Tim Fain. Britell has been performing for audiences from a very young age, giving his first public recital at the age of 10 in Manhattan. A student of the late Jane Carlson at the Juilliard School's Pre-College Division, he has performed at venues including the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Juilliard, Steinway Hall, the Palace Theater, Harvard University's Fogg Museum of Art and Signet Society, the Aspen Music Festival, and the National Arts Club. He has also performed Mozart's Piano Concerti Nos. 12 and 14 at the landmark Old Westbury Gardens with an orchestra led by Eric Jacobsen, noted conductor of The Knights. In addition, Britell was the keyboardist in the hip-hop ensemble The Witness Protection Program. The WPP, as they were known, opened acts for hip-hop groups including Blackalicious and Jurassic 5 and performed at venues ranging from the Paradise Theater in Boston to New York's classic Arlene's Grocery. He is an honors and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard University, as well as a piano performance graduate of the Juilliard School's Pre-College Division.