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avatar for Laura Karpman

Laura Karpman

Art Farm West
A composer who brings to her music feverish imagination, impeccable musicianship, complexity, versatility, unbridled joy, and fearlessness, Laura Karpman is, in the words of George Manahan, music director of New York City Opera, "a rare combination of heart and groin." Through a rigorous musical approach, coupled with conceptual and progressive uses of technology and recording, Karpman's music reflects the acoustic lens of a true 21st century American composer. Karpman is one of a handful of female composers with active careers in film and television, winning four Emmys and receiving an additional seven Emmy nominations, an Annie nomination, and a GANG award for her video game music. She was tapped by Steven Spielberg to create an epic orchestral score for his 20-hour miniseries, Taken. Her credits include Odyssey 5 for Showtime, Masters of Science Fiction for ABC, Craft in America for PBS, Man in The Chair starring Christopher Plummer, The Annihilation of Fish starring Lynn Redgrave and James Earl Jones, The Tournament for The Weinstein Company, among others. Named one of the most important women in Hollywood by Variety Magazine, Karpman was a fellow and an advisor to The Sundance Institute, she has lectured at The Juilliard School, USC, and Mills College, and is a professor at UCLA in the School of Theater, Film, and Television, and a fellow of The Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. At Juilliard, where she received her doctorate as a student of Milton Babbitt, Karpman established herself in concert music with awards including the Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP Foundation, Meet the Composer, residencies at Tanglewood and The MacDowell Colony, among others. Her concert music has been performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and The Tanglewood Music Festival, by ensembles including The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, The National Symphony, Cabrillo Festival, Concordia, The American Composers’ Orchestra, The New York Youth Symphony, Richmond Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Metropole Orkest, and The Northwest Sinfonia. Commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Karpman's multimedia ASK YOUR MAMA, written for Jessye Norman, The Roots, jazz singer, and orchestra, on a text by Langston Hughes, premiered to critical acclaim. The New York Times wrote, "Ms. Karpman’s music, melding Ivesian collage with club-culture remixing, morphed from one vivid section to the next in a dreamlike flow, with repeated phrases and motifs lending a strand of continuity...The audience thundered its approval." NPR’s “maximalist score,” ASK YOUR MAMA went on to receive its West Coast premiere in August 2009 at The Hollywood Bowl. Other recent concert music commissions have included THE TRANSITIVE PROPERTY OF EQUALITY for orchestra and electronics, conducted by Marin Alsop with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra; HEEBIE JEEBIES, for chorus and 2 pianos, commissioned for the centennial of The Juilliard School; and SCAT, a bassoon concerto commissioned and premiered by The Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned by the Los Angeles Opera for its 25th anniversary, Karpman is currently composing a new genre-breaking work called the One Ten Project, which chronicles the history of Los Angeles through the eyes of her oldest freeway, the 110, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of its dedication. She is also developing multimedia works for percussionist Evelyn Glennie, The Cabrillio Festival, and with New York Times columnist Gail Collins. From world music for documentaries to scores for political campaigns, from complex layered sound design horror scores to quirky chamber music for independent films, from large orchestral scores for the concert hall to choral requiems for massive multiplayer online video games, Karpman's music, rigorous and electric, has no bounds.

My Speaker Sessions

Sunday, March 13
 

11:00am CDT