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. He has also provided the music for Gus Van Sant’s Restless, Shawn Levy’s Reel Steel, David O’ Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, Men In Black 3, Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and his black and white stop-motion animated feature Frankenweenie, Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land,Sasha Gervasi’s Academy Award nominated film Hitchcock, Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful, Chris Wedge’s animated film Epic and the Errol Morris documentary The Unknown Known.
Elfman’s most recent work includes David O. Russell’s Academy Award nominated film American Hustle, DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Tim Burton’s upcoming drama Big Eyes and Universal Pictures’ highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey.
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, and, most recently, Iris—a Cirque du Soleil show at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. 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.”