Fast Facts

  • Started composing as a child when his parents left him alone to practice piano and he would make up variations of the pieces he should have been playing.
  • His father, his paternal grandfather and a paternal uncle were dentists.
  • Was concertmaster of the band and president of the chess club in high school.
  • Entered college as a pre-med student before switching to music.
  • Early on, supported himself by writing jingles, providing piano accompaniment to ballet classes and penning songs for Sesame Street.
  • Helped finance a cross-country trip in the late 1960s by playing fiddle on street corners for money.
  • In the 1970s, wanted to be a singer-songwriter in the Jackson Browne-Elton John-Billy Joel mold.
  • Wrote a rock ballet, Children of the World, just after college.
  • Once performed live music for the TV soap opera Search for Tomorrow.
  • Has a scholarship in his name at his alma mater, NYU.

Awards

  • 1993, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1993, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1996, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1992, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Winner
  • 1995, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Winner
  • 1986, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 2008, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1992, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 2007, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 2008, Tony — Score (Music and/or Lyrics): Nominee
  • 1994, Tony — Original Musical Score: Nominee
  • 1991, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1991, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Winner
  • 1991, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Winner
  • 1989, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Winner
  • 1990, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1996, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Musical or Comedy Score): Nominee
  • 1989, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Winner
  • 1997, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1993, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Score: Nominee
  • 1992, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Original Film Music: Nominee
  • 1990, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1996, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1990, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1995, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Musical or Comedy Score): Winner
  • 1989, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1998, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1993, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 2011, Grammy — Best Song Written for Visual Media: Winner
  • 1992, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Winner
  • 1993, Grammy — Song of the Year: Winner
  • 2010, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1995, Grammy — Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television: Winner
  • 1993, Grammy — Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television: Winner
  • 2011, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2011, Tony — Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: Nominee
  • 2012, Tony — Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: Winner
  • 1993, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television: Winner
  • 1992, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television: Winner
  • 2008, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Composer: Nominee
  • 2014, Tony — Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: Nominee
  • 1993, Grammy — Best Musical Album for Children: Winner
  • 1990, Grammy — Best Recording for Children: Winner
  • 1990, Grammy — Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television: Winner
  • 2013, Emmy — Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics: Nominee
  • 1992, Grammy — Best Children's Album: Winner
  • 2011, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Song: Nominee
  • 1997, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1992, Grammy — Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television: Winner

Relationships

  • Anna — Daughter
  • Janis Roswick-Menken — Wife
  • Judith Menken — Mother
  • Nora — Daughter
  • Norman Menken — Father

College

  • New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York, New York, United States (BA in Music, 1972)

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Details

  • Birth Name: Alan Irwin Menken
  • Birth Place: New Rochelle, New York, United States
  • Birthday: July 22, 1949, Cancer
  • Profession: Composer, Singer-songwriter
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