'It feels great': Nicolet High School graduate nominated for his 4th Academy Award

’It feels great’: Nicolet High School graduate nominated for his 4th Academy Award

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Justin Hurwitz is a hometown musician with quite the resume, winning four Golden Globes, three Critics' Choice Awards, two Grammys and a BAFTA. Come March 12, 2023, he's hopeful to add his third Academy Award to the list.

"I was dreaming about Oscars probably when I was a kid," Hurwitz told CBS 58. "I remember being about 10 or 11 and watching the Oscars with my family and it just seemed like the most magical thing in the world."

Hurwitz experienced the magic of winning an Oscar twice in 2017 for his work on the film "La La Land." Now, he's nominated once again for Best Original Score for the film "Babylon." The movie is written and directed by his Harvard classmate Damien Chazelle and starring Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Jean Smart.

"We've just been trying to get the movie out there and encourage people to see it," Hurwitz said. "You do everything you can to try to encourage people to see your movie and that's really all you can do, and then you hope they like the work."

A Nicolet High School graduate, Hurwitz credits his music teachers at Nicolet High School and Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for helping him achieve the success he has so far in his career.

"Head over heels proud of what he's done," said Eric Tillich, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. "Every student, every child, every person that studies here has their own musical journey. What we try to do is position our students in a way that they can be successful and aspire to that."

Hurwitz has used his success and his platform to advocate for music education and its importance in public schools.

"Getting to work on a concerto with Mr. Hoffman, who was one of my Nicolet teachers, that was an amazing experience that expanded my musical world," Hurwitz said, also referencing his time at the conservatory. "That was great. That's a huge, huge part of my musical background and upbringing."

Hurwitz says he spent three years working on the project and is grateful for the recognition from the Academy.

"It feels so good when your peers and fellow filmmakers and fellow composers nominate you for something like this," Hurwitz explained. "You hope for it, and I mean I think everybody wants these things to happen."

He remains hopeful his success will continue to inspire the future musicians learning on the same instruments he once played.

"I believe for everybody there's 'the thing' that you're meant to do and that you love," Hurwitz explained. "When you find that thing, it feels really gratifying, and if you work hard at it you can be successful at it."

The 95th Oscars are Sunday, March 12, 2023.

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