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, Joss Whedon, Paul Haggis, Ang Lee, Rob Marshall, Guillermo del Toro, Barry Sonnenfeld, 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, Alice in Wonderland, Silver Linings Playbook, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Up next for Elfman is the highly anticipated blockbuster Justice League from Warner Bros. & DC.
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. (30 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 he composed his first Violin Concerto, “ Eleven, Eleven”, for soloist Sandy Cameron, which had its world premier in Prague with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and its second performance at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Danny Elfman’s Music From the Films of Tim Burton had its concert premiere in 2014 at London’s Royal Albert Hall and has continued on with over 60 concert performances in over 12 countries.
“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.”