Nicholas Britell is a two-time Academy Award-nominated composer, pianist, and producer. His critically acclaimed score for Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning film MOONLIGHT was nominated for the 2017 Oscar for Best Original Score and was awarded the 2016 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score (Dramatic Feature). In addition, his score for MOONLIGHT garnered numerous other accolades including a 2016 Golden Globe nomination and a 2016 Critics’ Choice nomination.
Britell’s recent score for Barry Jenkins’ film IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK was nominated for Best Original Score at the 2019 Academy Awards. His score for IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK has received wide critical acclaim and awards including a 2019 BAFTA nomination, a Critics’ Choice nomination, and Best Original Score awards from each of the Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Central Ohio, Iowa, Washington DC, Phoenix, LA Online, NY Online, and Online Film Critics Associations.
In 2015, Britell wrote the score for Adam McKay’s Oscar-nominated film THE BIG SHORT, based on Michael Lewis’ book about the housing and credit bubbles of the 2000’s and the subsequent 2008 financial crisis. Britell’s most recent collaboration with Adam McKay is the Oscar and Golden Globe Nominated film VICE starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. In December 2018, Britell’s score for VICE was placed on the shortlist for the 2019 Academy Awards. Britell has also scored McKay’s critically-acclaimed HBO television series SUCCESSION, for which he won the 2018 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score (TV Show / Limited Series). His music was also 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 violin performances, spiritual songs, work songs, and dances. In October 2017, Britell was awarded the “Discovery of the Year” Award at the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent, Belgium, as well as the Distinguished Composer Award from the Middleburg Film Festival.
Other movies for which he has composed the original score include Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s BATTLE OF THE SEXES, for which he also wrote and produced, with singer Sara Bareilles, an original song, “If I Dare”; Natalie Portman’s A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS; Adam Leon’s GIMME THE LOOT (winner of the 2012 SXSW Grand Jury Prize) and Leon’s TRAMPS; Gary Ross’ FREE STATE OF JONES; Jack Pettibone Riccobono’s documentary THE SEVENTH FIRE; and Steve McQueen’s short film CARIBS’ LEAP (which featured as part of the “Master of Light – Robby Müller” retrospective at the Eye film museum in Amsterdam).
Britell is a Steinway Artist and is a Founding Member of L.A. Dance Project. He is also Chairman of the Board of the New York-based ensemble Decoda, the first-ever affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. He was awarded the Henry Mancini Fellowship from the ASCAP Foundation in December 2012 and also won the ASCAP/Doddle Award for Collaborative Achievement.
As a producer, Britell 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 initial success of the WHIPLASH short, he subsequently served as co-producer on the Oscar-nominated feature film WHIPLASH which also won Sundance’s 2014 Jury Prize and its Audience Award.
As a pianist, for the past seven years, he has been performing as part of the critically acclaimed “Portals” project with violinist Tim Fain. Britell has been performing for audiences from a very young age, giving his first public recital at the age of 10 and was a student of the late Jane Carlson at the Juilliard School. His recent public performances have included concerts at London’s Barbican Hall, the Million Dollar Theatre in Los Angeles, and at Chicago’s Ravinia.
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. Britell was honored to be the commencement speaker at the Juilliard Pre-College Division’s Commencement Exercises in May 2016.