Danny Elfman

(1953 - )

American

For over 30 years, four-time Oscar nominee Danny Elfman, has established himself as one of the most versatile and accomplished film composers in the industry. He has collaborated with directors such as Tim Burton, Gus Van Sant, Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, Rob Minkoff, Guillermo del Toro, Brian De Palma, James Ponsoldt and David O' Russell. Beginning with his first score on Tim Burton’s Pee- wee’s Big Adventure, Elfman has scored over 100 films, including:  Milk (Oscar nominated), Good Will Hunting (Oscar nominated), Big Fish (Oscar nominated), Men in Black (Oscar nominated), Edward ScissorhandsBatmanTo Die ForThe Nightmare Before ChristmasAlice in WonderlandSilver Linings PlaybookAmerican HustleAvengers: Age of UltronSpidermanA Simple PlanMidnight RunSommersbyDolores Claiborne, and the Errol Morris documentaries The Unknown Known, and Standard Operating Procedure

Elfman’s other scores include the Warner Bros. blockbuster Justice League, Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot, The Grinch for Universal, Tim Burton’s live action remake of Disney’s Dumbo, and the latest installment from Sony Pictures Men In Black: International starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Upcoming for Elfman is the Universal Pictures’ family comedy The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle starring Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland.

A native of Los Angeles, Elfman grew up loving film music. He travelled the world as a young man, absorbing its musical diversity. He helped found the band Oingo Boingo, and came to the attention of a young Tim Burton, who asked him to write the score for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. 34 years later, the two have forged one of the most fruitful composer-director collaborations in film history. In addition to his film work, Elfman wrote the iconic theme music for the television series The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives

Elfman has expanded his writing to composing orchestral concert works which include: Serenada Schizophrana, a symphony commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2005, Rabbit and Rogue, for the American Ballet Theater choreographed by Twyla Tharp, performed at The Metropolitan Opera house in 2008, and Iris for Cirque du Soleil directed by French choreographer Philippe Decouflé.  In 2011, Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton live orchestral concert, premiered at the Royal Albert Hall, and has since toured around the world and won two Emmys.

In 2017 Elfman premiered his first Violin Concerto in Prague, which was performed by Sandy Cameron with John Mauceri and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.  In 2018, his first Piano Quartet commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet premiered as part of a US tour by the group.  Both works were released on a Sony Classical album in 2019.  

"I need to push myself into new territory with fresh challenges as much as I can and whenever I can. I am told I have a recognizable style but my greatest pleasure is when I can surprise the audience with my music."

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