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Danny Elfman Speaker & Booking Information

Danny Elfman is an American composer, known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo
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Danny Elfman Biography


Elfman was born on May 29, 1953, in Los Angeles, California, to Milton, a teacher, and Blossom, a well-known children's book author and screenwriter. In his adolescence, Elfman spent considerable time going to the movies and studying music from film composer Bernard Herrmann, whom he considered his mentor despite never having met him or studied with anyone else. Elfman attended University High School in Los Angeles when his parents relocated from Baldwin Hills to Brentwood, but he skipped school and traveled to Paris with his brother, Richard. He played his violin in the streets of France and became a member of Le Gran Magic Circus, an avant-garde musical theatre troupe. Danny Elfman struggled to earn acceptance among his colleagues on his way to become one of Hollywood's most prolific and acclaimed film composers since he came from the depths of rock music and was never a formally trained musician. Elfman began his career as the singer-songwriter of the famous rock band Oingo Boingo in the late 1970s, which had a large fanbase in Southern California but failed to gain national fame. He felt success to be the greatest retribution, particularly in his long-running partnership with filmmaker Tim Burton. Unable to quiet occasional suspicions that others had composed his own scores, he considered success to be the best revenge. Elfman collaborated with the filmmaker on most of his films, including Batman (1989), Sleepy Hollow (1999), and Big Fish (2003), for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Though he frequently mentioned Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Bartok as his favorite classical composers, Elfman preferred classic Hollywood composers Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Miklos Rozsa, and Franz Waxman, whose influence can be heard in his scores for Men in Black (1997) and A Simple Plan (1998). Elfman had earned the admiration of his critics and established himself as one of Hollywood's top echelon composers by the time he created his Oscar-nominated music for Milk (2008). After working on the score for Mission: Impossible (1996) with director Brian De Palma, Elfman was finally accepted into the Hollywood mainstream with his work on Good Will Hunting (1997), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score, and Men in Black (1997), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Musical or Comedy Score. Elfman became a favorite of directors who created films in the same spirit because of his ability to create spooky and quirky compositions, including Sam Raimi, who recruited the composer a third time to write the music for A Simple Plan (1998). Elfman not only assisted Raimi in creating the tension between three friends ripped apart by the discovery of $4 million in a wrecked plane, but he also met actress Bridget Fonda, whom he married in 2003. While Elfman's most well-known work was in films, he also made numerous contributions to television over the years, including writing the theme music for animated series such as The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Fox, 1992-99) and Dilbert (UPN, 1998-2000), many episodes of the horror anthology series Tales From the Crypt (HBO, 1989-1996), and the main title theme for the hit comedic drama Desperado (HBO, 1989-1996). (ABC, 2004- ). Films, on the other hand, provided Elfman with the broadest canvas and the most notoriety. Elfman had a breakout year in 2002, collaborating with Sam Raimi on the blockbuster comic book adaptation Spider-Man, scoring Men in Black II, writing the haunting music for the Hannibal Lecter thriller Red Dragon, and writing two original instrumental pieces for the Tony Award-winning musical Chicago. Elfman received his third Oscar nomination for his umpteenth collaboration with Tim Burton, Big Fish, after collaborating with Raimi on the soundtrack for The Hulk (2003). (2003). Elfman returned to Burton for his following two films, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), before composing the entire soundtrack for Jack Black's sports comedy Nacho Libre (2006). Elfman, who is now one of Hollywood's most prolific and well-respected composers, has worked on a number of major films, including Charlotte's Web (2006), Spider-Man 3 (2007), and Meet the Robinsons (2007). Milk (2008), Gus Van Sant's gripping biopic about assassinated San Francisco politician and homosexual rights hero Harvey Milk, won Elfman his fourth Academy Award nomination (Sean Penn). Elfman's outstanding work was recognized with a Grammy award for Best Score Soundtrack and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score - Motion Picture for his work on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010).

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