Steve Bramson was exposed to music from infancy. His father, Alan, was a Juilliard graduate and became proprietor of a community music school and music store in suburban New York City, his mother, Berenice, was a noted operatic soprano and his sister, Bobbe, was later to become a songwriter and pianist. After beginning studies on trumpet he switched to piano and became exposed to jazz and popular music as a teenager under the guidance of arranger/producer Mitch Farber.
Although Mr. Bramson received a BA in economics from the University of New Hampshire in 1978 , he was consistently active in the music department, playing and arranging for the university jazz ensemble. Months before graduating, guest artist and noted jazz clarinetist Buddy DeFranco offered to buy an arrangement of Bramson's. Upon graduation and at the urging of Mr. Farber, Mr. Bramson enrolled in the renowned Arrangers Holiday summer program at the Eastman School of Music. This was a life-redirecting experience, which revitalized his commitment to a career in music. Mr. Bramson then spent the next three years studying theory and composition with Ludmilla Ulehla and piano with Robert Levin. In 1981, he was accepted full time into Eastman continuing his studies with Rayburn Wright, Manny Albam, Bill Dobbins, Samuel Adler and Sydney Hodkinson graduating with a Master of Music in 1983.
Mr. Bramson's first forays into film scoring were as a student at Eastman. Two short animation projects went on to win Student Academy Awards: The White Gazelle and The Owl And The Pussycat.
Upon graduation from Eastman, Mr. Bramson began a long association with esteemed film composer Laurence Rosenthal (The Miracle Worker, Becket). Having met through a work-study grant from Eastman, Mr. Rosenthal invited him to work as orchestrator on numerous television miniseries and telefilms during the mid to late 1980's including Mr. Rosenthal's Emmy Award-winning scores to Peter The Great and Anastasia. In the early 1990's, Mr. Rosenthal asked Bramson to write a minute of music for the score he was writing for the new Stephen Spielberg-produced Tiny Toon Adventures. That short cue caught the ear of music supervisor Bruce Broughton and ultimately led to his joining the circle of series composers and to an Emmy for his score to The Horror of Slumber Party Mountain. Also at that time, Mr. Bramson scored dozens of episodes of TV series including Our House, Matlock, The Father Dowling Mysteries and Jake and the Fatman. Other series work included the short-lived Boys of Twilight and the jazz-inflected score for the noire primetime animated Fish Police.
In 1995 Mr. Bramson was invited to write the music to the ground breaking new attraction Space Mountain at the Disneyland Paris theme park. Unlike the familiar ride at home, this version was a breathtakingly fast journey through a vast enclosed set of the universe. The music had to be synchronized with the fast-moving trains and required two dozen rides over several months holding a stopwatch to time and average the speed of travel of the trains. Ultimately the music was recorded for a 55-piece orchestra and loaded into the computerized system in the park.
Also in 1995, Bramson was asked, at the suggestion of Mr. Broughton, to come on as composer for the television series JAG. Joining half way through the program's first season, Mr. Bramson stayed on through the end of it's last (10th) season scoring more then 200 episodes in total. Unusual for it's time, it became the last primetime series with a score recorded by a live 35-piece orchestra each week. Mr. Bramson earned two Emmy Award nominations for his work on JAG.
Other projects in the 1990's included scores for the animated video Scooby Doo On Zombie Island, the Tony Giglio-directed In Enemy Hands starring William Macy and the Disney telefilm Tiger Cruise and the musical Shimmy in collaboration with lyricist Pamela Phillips and show creator and chorographer Donald McKayle.
In 2006 and 2007, Mr. Bramson wrote the music for the critically acclaimed but short-lived television series The Nine and Journeyman respectively. In 2009, Mr. Bramson scored the black comedy feature Don McKay for director Jake Goldberger. He is currently working on a concert piece for trumpet and orchestra for Jon Lewis.