Joseph Trapanese

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Joseph Trapanese
Trapanese conducting his score for Disney's Lady and the Tramp at Sony's Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage
Trapanese conducting his score for Disney's Lady and the Tramp at Sony's Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage
Background information
Born1984 (age 37–38)
OriginNew Jersey, United States
GenresFilm score, jazz, electronic, ambient, chiptune
Occupation(s)Film composer, orchestrator, arranger, conductor
InstrumentsPiano, keyboards, synthesizer, trombone
Years active2006–present

Joseph Trapanese (born 1984) is an American composer, arranger, and producer. He works in the production of music for films, television, records, theater, concerts, and interactive media.

Early life and education[edit]

Raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Trapanese attended Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School before moving on to the Manhattan School of Music.[1]

Film and television music[edit]

Early career[edit]

Trapanese began his composing career by collaborating with Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) on the soundtrack for the Walt Disney Pictures film Tron: Legacy. His arrangements for the soundtrack have been described as "resolutely grand"[2] and "stirring... ominous, hypnotic".[3] The BBC described the work as "a sophisticated integration of acoustic and electronic instrumentation... majestic… rich, solemn tones… saturnine orchestration and a muscular rhythm”.[4]


Trapanese has gone on to compose numerous projects including Disney XD's animated series Tron: Uprising,[5] Sony Pictures Classics' The Raid: Redemption (co-composed with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park), Sony Pictures Television's original web series The Bannen Way, the independent feature Mamitas (featured at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival),[6] and numerous scores for live action and animated films from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television. Trapanese contributed musical arrangements to Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, What Happens in Vegas and Traitor. Alongside composer Daniel Licht, Trapanese produced and orchestrated the scores for seasons 3 and 4 of Showtime's original series Dexter, and provided orchestrations for seasons 5 and 6. The 2012 teaser trailer for Iron Man 3 features Trapanese's composition Something to Fight For.[7][8]

His career eventually lead to working on major studio feature films working solo and alongside recording artists. Some of his well known credits include Universal Studios's Straight Outta Compton,[9] Lionsgate Films's The Divergent Series: Insurgent,[10] Sony Pictures Classics' The Raid 2,[11] and Universal Studios's Oblivion (co-composed with Anthony Gonzalez of M83).[12]

In 2017 he scored the Sony Pictures feature Only the Brave, his third collaboration with director Joseph Kosinski, and co-scored the 20th Century Fox musical The Greatest Showman alongside composer John Debney. On that film he produced several of the chart-topping songs from the film written by Oscar-winning duo Justin Paul and Benj Pasek.[13]

Music collaboration with artists[edit]

Following his collaborations with Daft Punk on Tron: Legacy, Anthony Gonzalez (M83) on Oblivion, and Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) on The Raid: Redemption, Trapanese continues to work with artists in film scoring, album production, and live events.

On August 7, 2015 Dr. Dre released his long-awaited third album Compton which featured string arrangements by Trapanese and Jennifer Hammond. They were conducted by Trapanese at the Straight Outta Compton scoring sessions at the Sony Pictures Studios scoring stage in Culver City.

On February 27, 2015 Kelly Clarkson released her seventh album Piece by Piece which featured an orchestra arranged and conducted by Trapanese recorded at EastWest Studios in Hollywood. He collaborated with producers Greg Kurstin, Jesse Shatkin, and Jason Halbert on the project.

On September 22, 2013, Trapanese performed with M83 at the Hollywood Bowl as conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.[14] For the concert, Trapanese arranged new orchestral material for songs from Before The Dawn Heals Us, Saturdays=Youth, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, and Oblivion. He also arranged and conducted an orchestra for M83's show at Central Park Summerstage in New York City on August 8, 2012.[15]

Released on October 25, 2013, by RCA Records, Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red features an orchestra arranged and conducted by Trapanese.[16] Produced by Greg Kurstin, it is Clarkson's first Christmas-themed release, featuring cover versions of various Christmas standards in addition to original material. As part of the album's promotion, on October 30, 2013, Trapanese led the orchestra for Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale at The Venetian Las Vegas, which was broadcast on NBC on December 11, 2013.

Trapanese collaborated with Active Child on the arrangement of "Silhouette" (featuring Ellie Goulding) for his 2013 EP Rapor. In addition to the album, he provided new string and choir arrangements for his performances in Melbourne, London, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.[17]

For 2012's The Bourne Legacy, Trapanese worked with Moby on a new orchestral version of his "Extreme Ways".[18]

On October 18, 2011, M83's double-disc album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming released with five tracks arranged by Trapanese. Trapanese's work can be heard on "Intro", "Wait", "Soon, My Friend", "My Tears Are Becoming a Sea", and "Outro".[19]

Trapanese co-wrote and co-produced the song "Do or Die" with 3OH!3 from their album Omens.[20]

Music for live theater[edit]

The music Trapanese has produced for theater is performed primarily in New York City, most notably in productions by The Actors Company Theatre. Recent productions that he has provided music for include T. S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party, Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy, Václav Havel's The Memorandum, and Edward Bond's The Sea. His music for the production of Milan Stitt's The Runner Stumbles was described by the New York Times as "Precise and evocative... wistful, ringing melodies”.[21]

Awards and honors[edit]


Trapanese completed his bachelor's degree in composition at the Manhattan School of Music, and later an M.A. in Music for Visual Media at UCLA, with support from the Henry Mancini fund. Joseph's tutors included Giampaolo Bracali, Bruce Broughton, Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, Jack Smalley, and Martin Bresnick, and he also engaged in brief studies with Louis Andriessen, Aaron Jay Kernis, Julia Wolfe, Mark Snow, and Ira Newborn. From 2008 to 2011, Trapanese taught the Electronic Music and Composition curriculum at UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music.[28]



Year Title Director(s) Notes
2009 Countdown: Jerusalem Adam Silver
2010 Tron: Legacy Joseph Kosinski Composed with Daft Punk
2011 Mamitas Nicholas Ozeki
The Raid Gareth Evans Composed with Mike Shinoda
2013 Oblivion Joseph Kosinski Composed with M83
2014 The Raid 2 Gareth Evans Composed with Aria Prayogi & Fajar Yuskemal
Earth to Echo Dave Green
Stand Cosmos Kiindarius
Transformers: Age of Extinction Michael Bay Additional music
Score composed by Steve Jablonsky
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Robert Schwentke
Straight Outta Compton F. Gary Gray
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant Robert Schwentke
The Siege of Jadotville Richie Smyth
2017 Only the Brave Joseph Kosinski
Wolf Warriors 2 Wu Jing
Shimmer Lake Oren Uziel
The Greatest Showman Michael Gracey Composed with John Debney
Songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
2018 Arctic Joe Penna
Robin Hood Otto Bathurst
2019 Stuber Michael Dowse
Lady and the Tramp Charlie Bean
2020 Coffee & Kareem Michael Dowse
Project Power Henry Joost
Ariel Schulman
Spontaneous Brian Duffield
2021 Finding 'Ohana Jude Weng
Prisoners of the Ghostland Sion Sono
Happily BenDavid Grabinski
8-Bit Christmas Michael Dowse
2022 Spiderhead Joseph Kosinski
TBA The Machine Bert Kreischer


Year Title Notes
2009-10 The Bannen Way 16 episodes
2010-11 Suite 7 2 episodes
2012-13 Tron: Uprising 19 episodes
2016 Dead of Summer 10 episodes
2016-17 Quantico 20 episodes
Jean-Claude Van Johnson 6 episodes
2018 Unsolved 10 episodes
Berlin Station Episode: "Aut Concilio Aut Ense"
2021 Shadow and Bone
The Witcher Season 2; 8 episodes[29]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Developer Publisher
2014 The Crew Ivory Tower Ubisoft
2017 Need for Speed Payback Ghost Games Electronic Arts
2020 Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy's Edge ILMxLab Disney Electronic Content


  1. ^ Romero, Adrienne. "Jersey City still 'feels like home' to award-winning composer", The Jersey Journal, March 18, 2019. Accessed December 24, 2019. "Joe Trapanese returned home from Hollywood on Friday to talk and help guide students of The Ethical Community Charter School about composing music and scoring for film, television and video games.... Trapanese went to McNair Academic High School and the Manhattan School of Music for his undergraduate studies."
  2. ^ Walters, Barry (2010-12-07). "Daft Punk, 'Tron: Legacy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' Review". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  3. ^ "Daft Punk Mash Classical, Electronica to Shape 'Tron: Legacy's' Soundscape". The Hollywood Reporter. 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  4. ^ "Music – Review of Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy". BBC. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  5. ^ Mercedes Milligan (2012-05-01). "Disney XD's 'TRON: Uprising' Coming Soon!". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  6. ^ "Film Interview: Off The Grid". Topanga Messenger. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  7. ^ "Iron Man 3 – Movie Trailers". Apple. 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  8. ^ "Something to Fight For by Joseph Trapanese on SoundCloud". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  9. ^ Balfour, Jay (2015-07-11). "Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar & Eminem To Feature On 'Straight Outta Compton' Soundtrack;". Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  10. ^ Feeney, Nolan (2014-11-25). "Exclusive: Joseph Trapanese scoring 'Divergent' sequel 'Insurgent'". Retrieved 2015-03-18.
  11. ^ Webb, Charles (2014-03-28). "Interview: Composing for Hell – Joseph Trapanese Talks Scoring THE RAID 2". Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  12. ^ Feeney, Nolan (2013-04-24). "M83 and the Music for 'Oblivion' |". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  13. ^ Mendelson, Scott (2017-12-20). "Greatest Showman' Review: Lots Of Songs, Not Much Story". Forbes.
  14. ^ "Review: M83 and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra explore youth". Los Angeles Times. 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  15. ^ Amanda Hatfield (2012-08-09). "M83 played Central Park Summerstage (pics, review, setlist)". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  16. ^ "Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
  17. ^ "Active Child" Facebook Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  18. ^ "Stream Moby's Orchestral New 'Bourne Legacy' Version Of "Extreme Ways"". Ology. 2012-07-31. Archived from the original on 2013-08-24. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  19. ^ "M83 – Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. (CD, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  20. ^ "New Song: 3Oh!3, 'Do Or Die'". 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  21. ^ Annette Midgette. "Murder and Hymns". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  22. ^ "2012 IFMCA Awards",
  23. ^ "Discovery of the Year Nominees Announced" Filmfestival February 9, 2013.
  24. ^ "Vote for the ASCAP Composers’ Choice Awards" May 31, 2014.
  25. ^ "World Soundtrack Awards Announce Nominees" September 14, 2015.
  26. ^ "16th Black Reel Award Winners" February 19, 2016.
  27. ^ "‘Black Panther,’ ‘Walking Dead’ Rule Saturn Awards Nominations" Variety March 15, 2018.
  28. ^ [1] Archived July 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Joseph Trapanese Tapped as Composer of Netflix's 'The Witcher' Season 2". Film Music Reporter. October 29, 2021. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021. Retrieved December 13, 2021.

External links[edit]