Born in South Africa 1988, Attie Hamer-Esterhuizen started writing music at the age of 6, and now, at the age of 28, his works have been performed by influential orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale de Bordeaux, to name a few. By the age of 23 he founded AttieStudio, which has since produced two Operas in Paris and an Animation Musical, Lady of the Night, bringing together an international team of approximately 150 people. The animation musical, released in 2014 has been awarded or nominated for 56 awards and is still being screened at film festivals across the world. Attie completed his formal music training at the age 17 at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan USA. There he met and worked with a lot of young musicians, visual artists, actors and dancers whom have since become some of the best known artists in their fields. This is where Attie’s first orchestral pieces were premiered with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. At Interlochen Arts Academy, Attie became friends with the singer and actor Nora Menken. Through her he met the composer he now considers his mentor, Alan Menken who has 8 Oscars, 14 Grammies and one Tony to his name. Attie believes that the success of his first animation music, Lady of the Night, is in part due to the fact that Menken spent endless hours in emails, phone calls and lessons, but mostly guided him through the challenges that arose. The film Stars Adam Pascal who stared in the cult film RENT. Following his studies at Interlochen Arts Academy at age 18, he moved to Boston MA to study at the prestigious Longy School of Music where he fine tuned his technique in Classical music composition. During this time, Attie started writing for orchestras and soon grabbed the opportunity to have his piece Le Depart d’une Amie recorded by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
He moved to France in 2009 where he studied with profesors at the The National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris. Attie’s career matured while he was emerced in the Parisian joie de vivre. It was in Paris that he started receiving his major commissions. The first being a commission from concert master Matthieu Arama and the Nationale Orchestre de Bordeaux for an orchestration of Sarasate Habanear and a work for Damien Pass entitled Boys of The Marsh for a concert at the Opera Bastille. Le Balcon, the contemporary ensemble overseen by Pierre Boulez and conducted by Maxime Pascale, where he was asked to write a work for Soprano and the Ensemble entitled Lady of the Night which then later evolved into the idea for the film Attie would eventually produce 4 years later. Alan Menken introduced Attie to the leading French lyricist Nicolas Nebot who has worked with Attie on several pop songs for French artists. The Singers of the Opera en Pleine Air decided to record Attie’s choir piece for male singers. His piano duet, Woe the Lovers, was also performed at the historic Salle Cortot. Attie later received a commission from the Timeless Ballet Company for a ballet for full orchestra (Le Spectre) based on Puccini’s Madame butterfly, starring Iranian dancer Sohrab Chitan. Two works for musical theatre were recorded by The Orchestre de Salle de Colonne. The orchestra was recorded in Paris while the singers were recording their parts in New York at the same time. Attie founded AttieStudio when he turned 23 after falling in love with modern opera and produced the Operas Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss and Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg. When Attie produced and wrote the music to his animation film Lady of the Night, he was fortunate enough to have the music performed by the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra. At the same time Attie attended film school at the International School of Cinema and Directing, EICAR, majoring in script writing and directing. In 2014 Attie was accepted, out of 2000 applicants, to the Musical Theatre Workshop of BMI, the leading global music rights organization in New York. There he was part of a group of twenty composers and lyricists who for three years study the compositional forms and techniques of the traditional broadway musical. Attie is now married to the South African lyricist Télan Hamer-Esterhuizen and they are currently in pre-production with their first stage musical. Attie writes the music and Télan the lyrics and text. They are having a wonderful time living in Cape Town, South Africa while Télan writes the text and lyrics and Attie writes the music.