Encompassing the human experience: A conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Abels

Louisa Semprebon ’25
March 7, 2024

If you have watched any of writer and director Jordan Peele’s three horror films—Get Out, Us, and Nope—Michael Abels helped move you through those cinematic experiences, building tension and fear, with his musical scores. Abels recently spent time with the Wellesley community as a resident in the Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities.

Abels’ work has been nominated for Emmys and Grammys. His score for Us won a World Soundtrack award, while Us and Nope were both shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Original Score. He also co-composed the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Omar, which the New York Times named one of the best 10 classical performances of 2022. While on campus, he shared some thoughts about his work and being an artist.