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Danny Elfman: Bio

Over the last 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 such directors as Tim Burton, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant, Sam Raimi, Paul Haggis, Ang Lee, Rob Marshall, Guillermo del Toro, Brian De Palma, and Peter Jackson. Beginning with his first score on Tim Burton's Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Elfman has scored a broad range of films, including: Milk (Oscar nominated), Good Will Hunting (Oscar nominated), Big Fish (Oscar nominated), Men in Black (Oscar nominated), Edward Scissorhands, Wanted, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mission: Impossible, Planet of the Apes, 

A Simple Plan, To Die For, Spider-Man (1 & 2), Batman, Dolores Claiborne, Sommersby, Chicago, Dick Tracy, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland.

Elfman's recent work includes David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Tim Burton's Big Eyes, Errol Morris' The Unknown Known, Goosebumps for Sony Pictures, Fifty Shades of Grey, Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron, Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass, Universal Pictures' sequel Fifty Shades Darker, and Tate Taylor's Girl on the Train. Up next for Elfman is The Weinstein Company's Tulip Fever and Universal Pictures' Fifty Shades Freed.

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. (25 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 Simpsons and Desperate Housewives. He also composed a ballet, Rabbit and Rogue, choreographed by Twyla Tharp, a symphony Serenada Schizophrana for Carnegie Hall, an overture The Overeager Overture for the Hollywood Bowl, Iris-a Cirque du Soleil show at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre and most recently, Elfman's violin concerto No. 1 which will world premiere in Prague on June 21st. Danny Elfman's Music From the Films of Tim Burton had its concert premiere at London's Royal Albert Hall. "Having a particular style is not bad," says Elfman, "but I prefer to push myself in the direction of being a composer who you never know what he's doing next."
 

1 Elfman: Violin Concerto 'Eleven Eleven' I. Grave; Animato  
2 II. Spietato  
3 III. Fantasma  
4 IV. Giacoso; Lacrimae  
5 Elfman: Piano Quartet I. Ein Ding  
6 II. Kinderspott  
7 III. Duett fur Vier  
8 IV. Ruhig  
9 V. Die Wolfsjungen  
Marilyn Manson and Danny Elfman & Tim Burton talk on Nightmare Before Christmas
Danny Elfman & Helena Bonham-Carter sing Nightmare Before Christmas at Royal Albert Hall

"Every child knows his melodies." You'll normally only hear this about rock stars. But Danny Elfman is a composer of film music. Yet, who doesn't know how to whistle the theme from The Simpsons' Or the driving sound of Beetlejuice devised by Elfman in 1988, which became a hallmark for the comedy-fantasy film genre and for video games. Elfman provided the film score for nearly all movies directed by Tim Burton, invented the cinematic sound for Spider Man and Men in Black and came up with the main theme for Desperate Housewives. Hailing from Los Angeles and already a member of an avant-garde ensemble by the age of 19, Elfman has established himself as a fixture among the greatest film composers alongside Hans Zimmer or John Williams. However, among the soundtrack masters Elfman stands out for the distinctive character he lends his scores. With him, tubas and trombones play at a breakneck speed and violins are put through Paganini-like paces. And every soundtrack has its own unique idea which captivates the imagination of moviegoers over and over again.