Alan Menken is an American composer born July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York.
Alan Irwin Menken is born in New Rochelle into a family of dentists. His father, Norman Menken, was a dentist and his mother, Judy Menken, a theater actress, singer and writer. He also has a brother, Kevin Menken and a sister, Faye Menken.
Noticed by Disney for the music of The Little Shop of Horrors, he joined the studios in 1987 to compose the music of The Little Mermaid in partnership with Howard Ashman with whom he continues on Aladdin then Beauty and the Beast. But Ashman died of AIDS in 1991 before finishing Beauty and the Beast, Menken then working with Tim Rice. In 1995, in partnership with Stephen Schwartz, he composed the songs of Pocahontas and in 1996 those of the Hunchback of Notre Dame and in 1997 with David Zippel those of Hercules.
During his career he was nominated fifteen times at the Oscars and won eight. It is thanks to the song of the film The Beauty and the Beast, played by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, that he wins the Oscar for best song. Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson will perform this song at the 1992 Oscars.