Program Biography

Four-time Emmy Award-winning composer Laura Karpman’s music has been hailed as “fevered, restrained, super-lush, in turns…always impressive” by Vanity Fair. Her vibrant career runs the gamut from performances by the Los Angeles and Czech Philharmonics, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Houston, National, Detroit, and Prague Symphonies, American Composers Orchestra, The Juillard School, and Debussy Trio to scores for Steven Spielberg, PBS, Smithsonian, documentarian Barbara Koppel, the Chinese Government (for which she received an Annie Award nomination), and videogame music for Sony Online Entertainment, where she served as resident orchestral composer and received a GANG award. This highly distinguished and stunningly versatile artist has become recognized for works that bring together music, image, and narrative. She had a recent triumph with her new multi-media work "Ask Your Mama," written for Jessye Norman and The Roots premiering to a sold-out house at Carnegie Hall, which commissioned the piece. She looks forward to new works for the Los Angeles Opera, Cabrillo Festival, Tonya Pinkins, and percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Karpman’s concert music honors include the Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, several ASCAP Foundation and Meet the Composer awards, residencies at Tanglewood, the MacDowell Colony, and Sundance Institute. She was among the first composers selected as a Sundance Institute Film Scoring Fellow, where she worked with Dave Grusin. She attended the Aspen Music School and L' Ecole des Arts Americanes where she worked with Nadia Boulanger, and received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan, studying with William Bolcom and Leslie Bassett and graduating Magna Cum Laude. Karpman received her doctorate from Juilliard, where she studied with Milton Babbitt. She is on the faculty at UCLA and was recently a guest composer of The Juilliard Composition Forum.