Four-time Emmy-award-winning composer Julie Bernstein spent her earliest years in Fair Lawn, New Jersey before moving with her family to Southern California. Studying classical piano as a young child, she began composing for the piano well before learning notation. Hearing Bernard Herrmann’s score to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was Julie’s inspiration for wanting to write music to picture.
Julie received a BA in music theory and composition from UCSB and became a grad student in music composition at CSUN. She completed the Film Scoring Program with Allyn Ferguson and the Composing and Arranging Program with Dick Grove at the Dick Grove School of Music. She also attended the Lehman-Engel Musical Workshop and studied film scoring with Don Ray at UCLA Extension School.
A wonderful and fulfilling decade with Warner Brothers Animation began for Julie as orchestrator for the late Richard Stone. She went on to write music for Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, Histeria! and The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries. In addition to underscore, Julie wrote and arranged hundreds of songs for these shows, many of them parodies. She was co-composer on the Animaniacs feature Wakko’s Wish and wrote the songs and orchestrated for Tiny Toon Adventures: Spring Break Special and Tiny Toon Adventures: Night Ghoulery. Julie has also written songs for Warner Brothers’ Batman Beyond, Universal’s Sitting Ducks and Dreamworks’ Toonsylvania. She was co-producer of two Animaniacs CDs, Yakko’s World and Animaniacs, writing, arranging and orchestrating many of the songs. Julie arranged and orchestrated the Warner Brothers theatrical shorts I’m Mad and Carrotblanca. In addition, she orchestrated the Hanna-Barbera animated television movies Scooby Doo: Arabian Nights and A Flintstones Christmas Carol. Her orchestrations can also be heard on several commercials for Energizer Battery.
Initially working in separate capacities for the same series, Julie and her husband Steven began collaborating in earnest on one of Europe’s favorite animated children’s series Make Way for Noddy, writing both music and lyrics for the hit show. Other notable collaborations include Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars, Baby Looney Tunes (nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award), the score, songs and lyrics for Baby Looney Tunes: Eggs-traordinary Adventure and the main title songs for Dig Into History and Toonsylvania. They 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 on which they were co-producers. Also co-written with her husband are scores for the motion pictures Song of David, Pooh’s Prayer and Would I Lie to You?. Julie and Steven are writing the scores for 2 new seasons of Animaniacs for Hulu, available in 2020.
The Young Musicians Foundation commissioned Julie and Steven to create a work to honor (the late) David Weiss, the first recipient of their “Living the Legacy” award. The work, Snapshots, was performed by YMF Debut Orchestra members at their annual gala and was a semi-finalist in The American Prize competition, receiving Honorable Mention in the IAWM competition. Julie and Steven did all the arrangements and orchestrations for the Colorado Symphony’s Animaniacs Live! concert as well as the recent performance of Animanicas Live! by the La Mirada Symphony. Julie’s music was performed by the Kentucky Symphony in a concert of music for animation.
Julie has written string quartet arrangements to accompany numerous vocal artists. Recordings include cuts on After Blue by eight-time Grammy-nominee Tierney Sutton with the Turtle Island String Quartet and Pictures of America by world-renowned opera star Natalie Dessay with the Paris Mozart Orchestra. Julie’s choral works include original compositions as well as arrangements of Christmas carols and spirituals. Her work for the stage includes the incidental music for Canadian performance artist Erica Batdorf’s one-woman shows Mr. Raisin Head and Kid. The River, written for string orchestra, oboe and bassoon was premiered by the COTA Symphony.
As a singer, Julie can be heard 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 voice actors, teaching and conducting her songs in preparation for recording. She has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Singers, the Hollywood Chorale and Mastersingers Holiday Entertainment, and has sung backup on several jazz albums. She is proud to have taken part in “Circle Singing” with Tierney Sutton, bringing music and improvisation to under-served schools in the hopes of effecting positive social change.
Julie has been nominated for two Annie Awards and 16 Emmys, winning four Emmys for her work on Animaniacs and Histeria! She won the 1996 Network Award for Music Package/Sound Design as arranger and orchestrator of the Warner Brothers interstitial Crazy Careers.