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|Birth name||Carter Benedict Burwell|
November 18, 1955 |
New York City, New York, United States
Carter Benedict Burwell (born November 18, 1955) is an American composer of film scores. He is best known as a regular collaborator of the Coen brothers, having scored 17 of their films, among them Raising Arizona (1987), Barton Fink (1991), Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), No Country for Old Men (2007), Burn After Reading (2008), and True Grit (2010). Other notable works include the Spike Jonze films Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002) and Where the Wild Things Are (2009), David O. Russell's Three Kings (1999), the miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014), Anomalisa (2015), and Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine (1998), Mildred Pierce miniseries, and Carol (2015).
Early life and education
Burwell was born in New York City, the son of Natalie (née Benedict), a math teacher, and Charles Burwell, who founded Thaibok Fabrics, Ltd. He graduated from King School in Stamford, Connecticut, and Harvard College, where he was a cartoonist for The Harvard Lampoon.
As a film composer, Burwell has had a long-working relationship with the Coen brothers, providing music for every film they have made (except for O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Inside Llewyn Davis, which had folk music soundtracks produced by T-Bone Burnett). He enjoys working with left-field directors, such as Spike Jonze. Among his best known film scores are Miller's Crossing (1990), And the Band Played On (1993), Conspiracy Theory (1997), Hamlet (2000), The Spanish Prisoner (1997), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), In Bruges (2008), Twilight (2008), Where The Wild Things Are (2009), The Blind Side (2009), and Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011). Burwell wrote and recorded the original score for the film The Bourne Identity, but his version was replaced by director Doug Liman for one by John Powell.
Ultimately the ethos of the punk rock movement gave him the impetus to start performing. He performed in New York with several bands, notably The Same, Thick Pigeon, and Radiante. Burwell played in Thick Pigeon with Stanton Miranda; the group released two albums, Too Crazy Cowboys (Factory) and tracks on Miranda Dali (Crepuscule), originally released as a Miranda solo project but later reissued as a Thick Pigeon release. On Burwell's soundtrack for Psycho III, Miranda was a featured singer.
By 1986 he had composed the music for a dance piece, RAB, which premiered at the Avignon Festival. At the same time, he was touring worldwide with The Harmonic Choir, David Hykes' experimental vocal group which specialized in overtone singing.
His work has alternated between live performance, dance and theatre commissions, and film scoring. His chamber opera The Celestial Alphabet Event was presented in New York in 1991 and other theatre pieces include Mother (1994) and Lucia's Chapters (2007), both with the experimental theatre group Mabou Mines.
In April 2005, Burwell composed and conducted music, performed by The Parabola Ensemble, for the plays Sawbones written and directed by the Coen Brothers, Hope Leaves the Theater written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, and Anomalisa written and directed by Kaufman as Francis Fregoli. This was a segment of the sound-only production Theater of the New Ear, which debuted at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY with support from Sirius Satellite Radio, United Talent Agency and Sony Pictures. It was also performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London and as part of the UCLA Live Festival in Los Angeles.
In December 2015 the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awarded Burwell Best Music for Anomalisa and Carol. Burwell received his first Academy Award for Best Original Score nomination for Carol.
|1990||Clash!||N/A||Theme music only|
|1993||And the Band Played On||Roger Spottiswoode||Television film|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music
- "Natalie Benedict Burwell Obituary: View Natalie Burwell's Obituary by Northern Virginia Daily". Legacy.com. February 24, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "Carter Burwell Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Walker, Tim (June 1, 2014). "John Powell interview: 'I sold myself to the Devil, just a bit'". The Independent. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- "Carter Burwell - Biography". CarterBurwell.com. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- "Love The Music Of Coen Brothers Films? You Can Thank Carter Burwell". NPR. February 7, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- "Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Winners: Full List". Variety. December 6, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- "Oscar Nominations: The Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. January 14, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- Carter Burwell's official website
- Carter Burwell at the Internet Movie Database
- Thick Pigeon bio at LTM