Jason Robert Brown (born June 20, 1970 in Ossining, New York) is an American musical theater composer, lyricist, and playwright. Brown's music sensibility fuses pop-rock stylings with theatrical lyrics. An accomplished pianist, Brown has often served as music director, conductor, orchestrator, and pianist for his own productions. Brown grew up in the suburbs of New York City, and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York for 2 years. During summer, he attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in Hancock, New York. He began his career in New York City as an arranger, conductor, and pianist, working on shows such as William Finn's A New Brain, and playing at several nightclubs and piano bars in the city. Songs for a New World marked the first major New York production of Brown's songs. An off-Broadway revue with a limited run, the show was directed by Daisy Prince, daughter of director/producer Hal Prince, and featured the 25-year-old Brown's pop-rock-influenced music. The song "Stars and the Moon" has since become a cabaret standard, and is probably Brown's best-known composition to date.