Born in a suburb of New York, Alan Menken initially pursued musicology before studying composition at the renowned BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Upon graduation, he worked as a répétiteur and arranger, as well as songwriter for “Sesame Street” and smaller Broadway productions, before making his breakthrough by penning the score for the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” in 1982. A film adaptation of the classic followed in 1986. Disney took notice and invited him to compose the score for ARIELLE, the studio’s first great fairy tale since 1959. The film is widely regarded as one of the most successful of its time and heralded the era of Disney movies often referred to as the “Golden 90s”, which were not least strongly influenced by Menken. He won two Oscars for ARIELLE in 1989, and a further six were to follow for modern Disney classics BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991), ALADDIN (1992), and POCAHONTAS (1995). This means Menken is the most Oscar-decorated film composer alive. He has also received 11 Grammys and 7 Golden Globes. Further film credits include THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, HERCULES, NEWSIES, ENCHANTED, TANGLED, and MIRROR MIRROR. Menken was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2008 and honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.