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Carter Burwell

Carter Burwell

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 18, 1955 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: composer, vocalist, computer graphics artist, biology lab worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though known primarily as the one-and-only composer to have worked with Joel and Ethan Coen, Carter Burwell amassed an impressive resume that included some of Hollywood's biggest films of the 1990s and 2000s. After launching his career with the haunting score for "Blood Simple" (1984) and the loopy banjo-laced compositions for "Raising Arizona" (1987), Burwell wrote music for a wide and varied slate of films that included everything from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1992) and "Wayne's World 2" (1993) to "Conspiracy Theory" (1997) and "In Bruges" (2008). Though in demand by Hollywood studios, Burwell and his quirky sensibilities fit best with directors like the Coen Brothers and Spike Jonze. From Norwegian folk songs in "Fargo" (1996) to the off-kilter tones of "Being John Malkovich" (1999) to fusing Beethoven sonatas with his own piano work in "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2002), Burwell often delivered his finest work for the Coens and Jonze. But while the directors earned numerous awards and critical acclaim, Burwell was typically left uncounted when nominations came rolling in. That all changed in 2009 when he finally received the recognition he deserved by way of his first Golden Globe nomination...

Though known primarily as the one-and-only composer to have worked with Joel and Ethan Coen, Carter Burwell amassed an impressive resume that included some of Hollywood's biggest films of the 1990s and 2000s. After launching his career with the haunting score for "Blood Simple" (1984) and the loopy banjo-laced compositions for "Raising Arizona" (1987), Burwell wrote music for a wide and varied slate of films that included everything from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1992) and "Wayne's World 2" (1993) to "Conspiracy Theory" (1997) and "In Bruges" (2008). Though in demand by Hollywood studios, Burwell and his quirky sensibilities fit best with directors like the Coen Brothers and Spike Jonze. From Norwegian folk songs in "Fargo" (1996) to the off-kilter tones of "Being John Malkovich" (1999) to fusing Beethoven sonatas with his own piano work in "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2002), Burwell often delivered his finest work for the Coens and Jonze. But while the directors earned numerous awards and critical acclaim, Burwell was typically left uncounted when nominations came rolling in. That all changed in 2009 when he finally received the recognition he deserved by way of his first Golden Globe nomination for his music in "Where the Wild Things Are" (2009), which seemed to promise greater things to come.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Joe's Apartment (1996) Roach Chorus
3.
 Bad Company (1995)
4.
 Funny (1989) Composer
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Milestones close milestones

:
Worked for a few years after graduation in biology labs doing computer graphics, animation, and digital image processing
:
Sat in as a keyboardist with various bands in his spare time
1984:
Wrote first film score, for the Coen Brothers' "Blood Simple"
1984:
Provided computer graphics for Yoshiaki Kawajiri and Kazuyuki Hirokawa's "Lensman", an animated science fiction feature
1990:
Composed first orchestral score, for the Coens' "Miller's Crossing"
1990:
First TV score for "Framed"
1991:
First minimalist score for "Barton Fink"; score melded with other sound elements; only about 20 bars of music in the film
1996:
Reteamed with the Coes brothers to score "Fargo"
1998:
Scored "Gods and Monsters"
1998:
Wrote the theme music for the UPN animated series "Dilbert"
2009:
Composed the music for "Where the Wild Things Are"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score
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Education

Harvard University: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1977

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