Key Leadership Biographies
Three-time Academy Award-nominated, Grammy-nominated, and Emmy-winning composer, pianist, and producer Nicholas Britell is known for his critically acclaimed scores on feature films with Academy Award winning writer-directors Barry Jenkins and Adam McKay. In 2016, Mr. Britell composed the score for Best Picture winner Moonlight, written and directed by Mr. Jenkins. He received his first Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Critics’ Choice nominations for Moonlight as well as the 2016 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score (Dramatic Feature). The year prior, he wrote the score for Mr. McKay’s The Big Short, based on Michael Lewis’s best-selling book. His highly acclaimed 2018 score for Mr. Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, garnered Mr. Britell his second Academy Award nomination as well as BAFTA and Critics’ Choice nominations. The score was awarded Best Original Score by numerous critics’ groups, including Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Washington DC film critics associations; New York Film Critics Online; and the Online Film Critics Association. In 2018, he also wrote the score for Mr. McKay’s Vice, starring Christian Bale, which went on to receive eight Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.
Mr. Britell teamed up again with Mr. McKay for the Netflix comedy Don’t Look Up starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, for which he wrote the score and co-wrote and produced two original songs. He won the 2021 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Score—Feature Film and received two nominations for the song “Just Look Up,” which he co-wrote with Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, and Taura Stinson. He also won an SCL Award for Outstanding Original Song for a Comedy. In addition to receiving Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for Best Original Score and multiple Critics’ Choice nominations for his score to Don’t Look Up, Mr. Britell was one of the honorees for American Cinematheque’s inaugural Tribute to the Crafts. Other recent film work includes Disney’s Cruella, Netflix’s The King, Universal’s She Said, and Sony Picture Classics’ Carmen. His upcoming film projects include writing the score for Mr. Jenkins’ Mufasa: The Lion King for Walt Disney Pictures.
For television, Mr. Britell won an Emmy for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme as well as the 2018 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score (TV Show/Limited Series) for the first season of Succession, for which he re-teamed with Mr. McKay who directed the pilot. He produced a remix of the Succession main title theme with lyrics from legendary hip-hop artist Pusha-T (their remix “Puppets” was released in October 2019 by Def Jam Recordings). Mr. Britell has continued his work on Succession, scoring seasons two, three, and four and earning Emmy nominations for each season.
Mr. Britell’s score to Barry Jenkins’ Amazon limited series The Underground Railroad was recognized in 2021 with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition. In addition, he recently collaborated with Grammy-winning artist Robert Glasper on the score for Adam McKay’s HBO drama series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. His critically acclaimed score for Lucasfilm’s 2022 Star Wars series Andor earned him two Emmy nominations and an SCL nomination for Outstanding Score for a Television Production.
In 2017, Mr. Britell won the Discovery of the Year Award at the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent, Belgium and received the Distinguished Composer Award from the Middleburg Film Festival. In 2019, he was honored by the World Soundtrack Awards as Film Composer of the Year for his scores for If Beale Street Could Talk and Vice. In 2020, the World Soundtrack Awards honored him for a second year running, this time with the TV Composer of the Year Award for Succession. In 2021, Mr. Britell along with co-writers including Florence Welch, won the World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song for “Call Me Cruella.” In May 2019, he was awarded, with music supervisor Gabe Hilfer, the first-ever ASCAP Harmony Award celebrating outstanding collaborative achievement between composers and music supervisors for If Beale Street Could Talk. In 2012, he was the recipient of a Henry Mancini Fellowship from the ASCAP Foundation and won the ASCAP/Doddle Award for Collaborative Achievement. In 2022, the SCL awarded him the Ambassador Award.
In May 2023, Mr. Britell launched his own record label, Lake George Music Group. The Succession season four soundtrack marked the first release under the new label, with The Winning Time Sessions: Season One as its upcoming second release.
Mr. Britell is a Steinway Artist and is also a Creative Associate of the Juilliard School; he speaks often and gives masterclasses at conservatories and universities including the Eastman School of Music, Harvard University, Columbia University, New York University, the Mannes School of Music, USC, Berklee College of Music, and Vassar College. His public performances have included concerts at London’s Barbican Hall, Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chicago’s Ravinia, and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. In his role as one of the San Francisco Symphony’s Collaborative Partners, he and Mr. Jenkins curated a special film-focused SoundBox program in spring 2023.
Mr. Britell 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. He returned in May 2016 as the Pre-College's commencement speaker.