“What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”
Born and raised in Wheat Ridge, Colorado (the carnation capital of the world), classically trained and five-time Emmy award-winning composer Steve Bernstein moved to the Los Angeles area to continue his music education. After obtaining his Master of Music degree from USC, he continued his studies in USC's Composition for the Music Industry program.
Steve began his professional music career receiving commissions from the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Sundance Institute, and John Waxman (son of legendary composer Franz Waxman) to reconstruct and re-orchestrate some of the world's most beloved film music, the scores of which have been lost or destroyed. The commissions include music from such classics as: The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, Around the World in 80 Days, The Searchers and The Bride of Frankenstein. Steve was featured in a MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour report on the preservation of film music.
Steve orchestrated several episodes of Steven Spielberg Presents: Tiny Toon Adventures for veteran film composer Fred Steiner and eventually began writing for that series as well, honing his animation compostion skills along the way. Working alongside the late composer Richard Stone, Steve's animation catalogue grew exponentially. To date, Steve has written the scores for over 250 episodes of animated television series and features. The television series include Histeria!, Steven Spielberg Presents: Animaniacs, Steven Spielberg Presents: Pinky and the Brain, Steven Spielberg Presents: Freakazoid, The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, and Taz-mania. He wrote the scores for the animated features Scooby Doo: Arabian Nights and A Flintstones Christmas Carol and co-wrote the scores for the Animaniacs feature Wakko's Wish, A Pinky and the Brain Christmas, Tiny Toons: It's a Wonderful Christmas , Tiny Toons: Night Ghoulery and Tiny Toons: Easter Special.
At first, Steve and his wife, composer Julie Bernstein, worked on separate aspects of the same projects. Eventually, they began to collaborate side by side on many scores such as those for Tom and Jerry Blast Off to Mars, Baby Looney Tunes (the series), the feature Baby Looney Tunes Egg-straordinary Adventure, the main title song for Steven Spielberg Presents: Toonsylvania, and music for Disney's One Saturday Morning. They also co-wrote the scores to Moving On, Song of David, Pooh's Prayer and Would I Lie To You?. The Bernsteins have proven to be accomplished lyricists as well, providing lyrics and music for much of their recent work including Make Way for Noddy, several Noddy specials, the main title for Dig into History and the CD of songs, commissioned by Rhino Records, inspired by the feature Tweety's High-Flying Adventure.
Comfortable in any style, Steve's most recent motion picture scores for Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys and Pernicious (both directed by horror wunderkind James Cullen Bressack) demonstrate a proclivity for the horror genre. His orchestrations can be heard in the features Skyfall, The Amazing Spiderman, Black Gold, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Millions, Windtalkers, City by the Sea, The Perfect Storm, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the Jim Carrey version) and L.A. Story. Steve has conducted for many film and TV productions including Spiderman 3, Supernova, Winchell, A Glimpse of Hell and Phantoms. He was the guest conductor for the Kentucky Symphon's concert of music for animation. He and Julie appeared with the Colorado Symphony in Animaniacs Live!, providing all the arrangements and orchestrations. Steve's arrangements of Puccini arias are featured in the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra's #1-selling Pops Plays Puccinifor Telarc Records. He wrote the symphonic arrangements for jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty's appearances with the Montreal and Toronto Symphonies and also lent his arranging talents to Lonely Town, the Grammy-nominated CD of jazz standards featuring the acclaimed Los Angeles trombonist Alan Kaplan.
Concert music has long been one of Steve's passions, especially music for voices. He has received several commissions for choral compositions, including those from the Colorado Chorale and the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church. His oratorio To Speed Them All won second place in The American Prize competition, choral music, in 2015. in 2008, his award-winning song cycle Emeralds: Poems from Medieval Ireland was performed in the Malibu Summer Music Festival by soprano Melanie Conly and pianist Peter Longworth. The Young Musicians Foundation recently commissioned Steve and his wife Julie to write a piece in honor of David Weiss, the first recipient of their "Living the Legacy" award. The result was Snapshots, a trio for soprano, oboe and cello. It was performed by YMF Debut Orchestra members at their annual gala dinner. The work received Honorable Mention in the IAWM competition and was a semi-finalist in The American Prize competition, chamber music professional division.
An active performer, Steve provided vocals for episodes of Make Way for Noddy; Animaniacs; Pinky and the Brain; Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain; Batman Beyond and Histeria!; as well as the features Wakko's Wish and Baby Looney Tunes: Eggs-traordinary Adventure and the CDs Tweety's High-Flying Adventure and jazz pianist Liz Kinnon's
Ms. Behavin'. His enthusiastic but limited acting credits include a cameo in the Wayans Brothers' Dance Flick and three productions with the Joynt Theater Comedy Improv Troupe, directed by Josh Minnick. Steve and Julie are currently providing live, improvised scores for the podcast That Voice-over Improv Thing.
Classically trained, four-time Emmy-award-winning composer Julie Bernstein spent her formative years in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in theory and composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara. After a year at the Paris American Academy of Fine Arts and graduate studies in music composition at California State University at Northridge, she spent two years at the highly acclaimed Dick Grove School of Music completing the Composing and Arranging Program with Dick Grove and the Film Scoring Program with Allyn Ferguson. She also attended the Lehman-Engel Musical Workshop as a composer working with lyricists, and the UCLA Extension Film Scoring Program with Don B. Ray.
Julie's long association with Warner Brothers Animation began with her tenure as the late Richard Stone's orchestrator. She soon joined the composing team for the classic animated television series Steven Spielberg Presents: Animaniacs,
Steven Spielberg Presents: Pinky and the Brain, Steven Spielberg Presents: Freakazoid, Steven Spielberg Presents: Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, Histeria! and The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries. In addition to underscore, Julie wrote and arranged hundreds of songs, many of them parodies, for these shows, as well as orchestrating for Steve Bernstein (her husband) and Richard Stone. She was a co-writer on the Animaniacs feature Wakko's Wish and was orchestrator for and wrote the songs heard in Tiny Toon Adventures: Spring Break Special and Tiny Toon Adventures: Night Ghoulery. Her orchestration can be heard on several commercials for Energizer Battery. Julie has written songs for the Warner Brothers animated series Batman Beyond, the Universal animated series Sitting Ducks and the Dreamworks animated series Toonsylvania. Julie wrote, arranged and orchestrated numerous songs on, and was co-producer of, two CDs from the Animaniacs series: Yakko's World and Animaniacs.
Julie's motion picture credits include the scores for Song of David, Pooh's Prayer, Would I Lie to You? and The Glendale Ogre Project, all co-written with Steve Bernstein. She arranged and orchestrated the Warner Brothers theatrical short I'm Mad and was the orchestrator of the Warner Brothers animated short Carrotblanca. In addition, she orchestrated the Hanna-Barbera animated television movies Scooby Doo: Arabian Nights and The Flintstones Christmas Carol.
Initially working in separate capacities for the same series, Julie and Steve began collaborating in earnest on the Europe's favorite animated children's series Make Way for Noddy, writing both music and lyrics for the hit show. Together, they wrote the score for a Warner Brothers public service video warning of the dangers of land mines in Cambodia. Other notable collaborations include Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars, Baby Looney Tunes (the series, for which they were nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award), the score, songs and lyrics for the feature Baby Looney Tunes Eggs-traordinary Adventure and the main title songs for Dig into History and Steven Spielberg Presents: Toonsylvania. They also co-wrote music for Disney's One Saturday Morning, several Noddy specials, and a CD of songs commissioned by Kid Rhino Records, inspired by the feature Tweety's High-Flying Adventure. Julie and Steve were co-producers of the Tweety CD.
As a singer, Julie has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Singers, the Hollywood Chorale and Mastersingers Holiday Entertainment. Her voice can be heard on the theatrical trailer for Hollywood .com and the jazz albums Ms. Behavin' (Liz Kinnon) and Pi (Christopher Neal Nelson). She has sung on numerous animated series including Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Histeria! and Make Way for Noddy as well as the animated features Wakko's Wish and Baby Looney Tunes: Eggs-traordinary Adventure. Julie has worked extensively with actors in vocal music sessions, teaching and conducting her songs and the songs of her colleagues. She was the music director and pianist for the Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theater's production of Of Thee I Sing. Julie is currently one of the singers working with three-time Grammy-nominated jazz singer Tierney Sutton on Circle Singing, bringing music and improvisation to under-served schools in the hopes of effecting positive social change.
Julie's concert music and arrangements have received numerous performances, including those by the Turtle Island String Quartet with Tierney Sutton, the COTA Symphony, the Foundation for New American Music, Mastersingers Holiday Entertainment and the USC Chamber Singers. As a Max Helfman Institute Fellow, she has written new music for the Jewish liturgy. Recent choral works include Shalom Rav, written for a Shabbat Shira service, and a jazz/gospel arrangement of Go Tell It on the Mountain. She also wrote the incidental music for performance artist Erica Batdorf's one-woman shows Mr. Raisin Head and Kid. The Young Musicians Foundation recently commissioned Julie and her husband Steve to write a piece in honor of David Weiss, the first recipient of their "Living the Legacy" award. Snapshots, a trio for soprano, oboe and cello was performed by YMF Debut Orchestra members and was very well received at their annual gala dinner.
Julie won the 1996 Network Award for Music Package/Sound Design for her work as arranger and orchestrator of the Warner Brothers interstitial Crazy Careers. She has been nominated for two Annie awards and 16 Emmys, winning four Emmy awards for her work on Histeria! and Animaniacs.