Composer Spotlight – Lin-Manuel Miranda

Composer Name: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Birth/Death: January 16, 1980 – Present

Best Known Compositions:

Lin-Manuel’s most well-known musical is Hamilton An American Musical, which premiered in 2015. Hamilton contains several popular songs, such as; “Alexander Hamilton,” “Wait For It,” and “My Shot.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda performing as Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton the Musical.

Musical Influences & Inspiration:
  • Cats (musical, 1981)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (rock opera, 1970)
  • Westside Story (musical, 1957)
  • Boogie Down Productions
  • Various 90’s Hip-hop Acts

Music Genre & Instrument Specialty:

  • Vocalist/Lyricist/Composer
  • Piano

Lin-Manuel Miranda plays piano in his NYC apartment.

Career Highlights:

Miranda’s Hamilton premiered off-Broadway in early 2015, selling out several shows, then was transferred to the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway. The musical has earned Miranda 16 nominations and 11 different awards, ranging from a Tony Award to a Drama League award.

Interesting Facts:

Lin-Manuel began performing in musicals early in his life. He became fascinated with hip-hop music through his school bus driver, who showed him artists like Boogie Down Productions. Miranda realized that these music styles shared a strong emphasis on story-telling, and found the combination of the two to be natural.