Michael A. Levine is the composer for the upcoming George Lucas-produced “Star Wars Detours” animated series featuring Seth Green and Seth MacFarlane. And he is an eight-time ASCAP Film and Television Music Award winner for scoring the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced “Cold Case” series as well as being a respected composer of concert music. But did you know that he also wrote the music for the iconic Kit Kat “Gimme A Break” jingle , arranged the choir version of The Simpson’s Movie ‘s “Spider Pig”, and produced Lorde’s spooky rendition of Everybody Wants to Rule The World from the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack?
Michael describes his career as “pathologically eclectic”. Born in Tokyo, raised in the Midwest, Michael moved to New York City where his first jobs were playing violin and harmonica on the streets, in Irish pubs, country western bars, and in the underground rock band scene. He moved on to being a studio musician where he worked with Lenny Kravitz, Joe Jackson, Marianne Faithfull, Boy George, and Grandmaster Flash (on keyboards).
Eventually, Michael began writing music for advertising. His groundbreaking and widely imitated work for Mitsubishi Eclipse won him the first of two Clio awards. But it is his Kit Kat “Gimme A Break” jingle (with lyricist Ken Shuldman) that was named top commercial “earworm” of all time by a Univ. of Cincinnati study.
From there, Michael began scoring television shows and films including dramas, Cold Case and Close To Home (CBS), and the films Adrift in Manhattan (Heather Graham). Columbus Day (Val Kilmer), and Fugly (John Leguizamo). He also wrote the Scrat-the-Stoneage-squirrel theme for the Ice Age series.
Levine has served as support composer and violinist for Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, and Cliff Martinez on films including Batman Dark Knight, Rango, and The Simpsons Movie. He produced songs for the hit Nickelodeon show “The Naked Bros. Band”, which became a #1 hit on the Billboard Kids charts.
Michael remains dedicated to art music. Besides his critically praised “Divination By Mirrors: Concerto for Musical Saw and Strings” and “Concerto for Pedal Steel Guitar and Orchestra”, Michael was awarded the LA Weekly theater music award for his work in the Jim Leonard play, Battle Hymn, presented at the Anson Ford Theater.
Michael currently serves as a Governor for the Television Academy (Emmys). In that capacity he is spearheading the production of “Score!”, the first Academy-sponsored orchestral concert of television music on May 21, 2014.