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Four-time Emmy-winning composer LAURA KARPMAN was raised on bebop and Beethoven and trained at the Juilliard School, where she played jazz, scatted in bars, and studied with Milton Babbitt. This highly distinguished and stunningly versatile artist, whose career spans the worlds of concert, theater, film, television, and video-game music, has become recognized for works that bring together music, image, and narrative.
Karpman’s concert works have been commissioned by percussionist Evelyn Glennie, LA Opera, Tonya Pinkins, the American Composers Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, and the Juilliard Choral Union, among others; and performed by orchestras and ensembles internationally, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Music Festival and conductor Marin Alsop, the Juilliard Chorus, and the Detroit, Richmond, Seattle, San Jose Chamber, and Prague symphonies. Her theater catalog includes three musicals for Los Angeles’ A Noise Within theater company, as well as underscores for dozens of classic plays. Among her extensive media music credits are Steven Spielberg’s Emmy-winning, 20-hour miniseries Taken, PBS’ acclaimed series The Living Edens, for which she received nine Emmy nominations, plus numerous films, television programs, and video games, including music for Halo 3 and her award-winning score for Everquest II. Karpman received an Annie Award nomination for A Monkey’s Tale, a short film commissioned by the Chinese government; the score later received its U.S. premiere by the Detroit Symphony.
Karpman’s groundbreaking score for Ask Your Mama, featuring Jessye Norman, Cassandra Wilson, The Roots, and George Manahan, conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, has its premieres at Carnegie Hall on March 16 and in this performance at the Hollywood Bowl.
Karpman also looks forward to new works for Evelyn Glennie, Tonya Pinkins, and the 110 Project – a newly commissioned work by the LA Opera that is a paean to the city’s first freeway, the redoubtable I-110, which turns 70 in 2009.
Laura Karpman received an Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and several ASCAP Foundation and Meet the Composer Grants, in addition to residencies at Tanglewood, where she studied with John Harbison, and The MacDowell Colony. She was one of the first composers to be selected as a Sundance Institute Film Scoring Fellow, where she worked with Dave Grusin. She attended the Aspen Music School and L’École des Arts Américaines, where she worked with Nadia Boulanger. She received her Bachelor of Music at the University of Michigan, where she graduated magna cum laude and studied with William Bolcom and Leslie Bassett, and received both her Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Music Composition at the Juilliard School. She is currently on the faculty of the UCLA School of Film and Television and was recently a Guest Composer at the Juilliard School’s Composition Forum.