Carter Benedict Burwell (born November 18, 1954) is an American composer of film scores. He has consistently collaborated with the Coen brothers, having scored most of their films, including Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men, Burn After Reading, Hail, Caesar! and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Burwell has also scored three of Todd Haynes's films, three of Spike Jonze's films, and all the films of Martin McDonagh. He has received Oscar nominations for Best Original Score for Haynes's Carol (2015) and McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017).
|Birth name||Carter Benedict Burwell|
|Born||November 18, 1954|
New York City, U.S.
Early life and educationEdit
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 with George Hofecker and other notables 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). 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) and Part 2 (2012). 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 Burwell 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 theater commissions, and film scoring. His chamber opera, The Celestial Alphabet Event, was presented in New York in 1991, and other theater pieces include Mother (1994) and Lucia's Chapters (2007), both with the experimental theater 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, New York, with support from Sirius Satellite Radio. It was also performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England, in May 2005, and at Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California, in September 2005, as part of the UCLA Live Festival.
In 2009, Burwell was the recipient of the ASCAP Henry Mancini Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. In 2010, he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for Where the Wild Things Are.
In 2015, he received the Distinguished Film Composer award from the Middleburg Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for Best Music Score for Anomalisa and Carol. He was nominated for the Annie Award for Music in an Animated Feature Production for Anomalisa and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for Carol. In 2016, he received the Satellite Award for Best Original Score and the Best Score award by the International Cinephile Society for Carol. Burwell was awarded Film Composer of the Year by the World Soundtrack Awards, and the score for Carol received the Public Choice Award for the Best Score of the Year.
|1990–1991||Clash!||Ha! / Comedy Central||Main title theme|
|1993||And the Band Played On||HBO||Television film|
|2011||Mildred Pierce||Miniseries; 5 episodes|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music
|2014||Olive Kitteridge||Miniseries; 4 episodes|
|2019–present||The Morning Show||Apple TV+|
|2020||Space Force||Netflix||Season 1 only|
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- "41st Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards". Los Angeles Film Critics Association. December 2015. Archived from the original on December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- Tapley, Kristopher (December 6, 2015). "Los Angeles Film Critics Name 'Spotlight' Best Film of the Year". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- "Nominations for 43rd Annie Awards Announced". Film Music Reporter. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- The Golden Globes (December 10, 2015). "2016 Nominations Announced!". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
- "Satellite Awards 2015". International Press Academy. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- "'Carol' Named Best Picture by Intl. Cinephile Society". Variety. February 21, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
- World Soundtrack Awards (October 19, 2016). "Winners of the 16th World Soundtrack Awards". World Soundtrack Academy. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- "Carter Burwell Named Film Composer of the Year at World Soundtrack Awards". Film Music Reporter. October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
- "Oscar Nominations: The Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. January 14, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- Heigl, Alex (February 27, 2016). "Where You've Heard First-Time Oscar Nominee Carter Burwell's Scores Before". People. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- "Notes on Hamlet Soundtrack". CarterBurwell.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
- Fairbanks, Amanda M. (June 24, 2022). "Truck Beach Was For Locals. Then the Oceanfront Homes Arrived". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
Carter Burwell, a film composer who has lived year-round in Napeague since 2009....
- "Carter Burwell to Score Joel Coen's 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'". Film Music Reporter. June 1, 2020.
- "Carter Burwell to Score HBO's 'Olive Kitteridge' - Film Music Reporter". Filmmusicreporter. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "Carter Burwell Scoring Netflix's 'Space Force'". Filmmusicreporter. May 12, 2020. Retrieved May 13, 2020.