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A bold, incandescent talent, composer Laura Karpman creates powerful, imaginative scores that push the boundaries of storytelling. Her award-winning music, spanning film, television, theater, interactive media and live performance, reflects an audaciously creative, prodigious fresh spirit. Karpman collaborates with some of the most renowned filmmakers of our time including Eleanor, Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola, Nia DaCosta, Alex Gibney, Misha Green, Rory Kennedy, Kasi Lemmons, Laura Nix, Sam Pollard and Steven Spielberg.
2023 has been perhaps her most prolific year to date, with six film and TV projects alone -- Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed (Max), What If? (Disney+), Ms. Marvel (Disney+), 61st Street (The CW), The Marvels (Disney) and American Fiction (MGM/Amazon). 2024 promises season 3 of What If, two unannounced video game projects, and a musical basic on Dorothy Arzner’s MGM film, Dance Girl Dance. Concert music premieres include the world premiere performance of BALLS, an opera chronicling Billie Jean King’s epic 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match with words by New York Times writer Gail Collins, and a commissioned work for the Juilliard School. Karpman was proud to have her theme from The Marvels performed at closing night of the BBC proms.
The five-time Emmy winner’s scores span HBO’s acclaimed hit Lovecraft Country, the Oscar- nominated Walk Run Cha-Cha and the docuseries Why We Hate. Other recent work includes Miss Virginia, Set It Up, Paris Can Wait, The Cotton Club Encore, Step, Black Nativity, Underground, LA’s Finest and the Peabody Award-winning series Craft in America. Karpman has recently received two additional Emmy nominations for Ms. Marvel, an HMMA award for The Marvels and an HMMA and SCL nomination for American Fiction as well as inclusion in the 2024 Oscars shortlist.
Other awards include a 2024 Lifetime achievement award from She Rocks, a Critic’s Choice Award for her song “Jump” (from the film Step), co-written with frequent collaborators Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson, sung by Cynthia Erivo. Her animated work includes Sitara, directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, executive produced by Darla Anderson and Gloria Steinem, and her Annie-nominated score for Monkey’s Tale. Her celebrated scores for interactive media and blockbuster video games include Guardians of Middle Earth, Everquest 2, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, Kung Fu Panda 2, Project Spark and Kinect Disneyland Adventures.
Across concert halls, Karpman is well known for her Grammy Award-winning album, Ask Your Mama, a multimedia opera based on the iconic cycle of poems by renowned author Langston Hughes. For this Carnegie Hall commission, Karpman collaborated with The Roots, soprano Jessye Norman, performer De’Andre Aziza and jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. Other notable works include All American,commissioned and performed by The Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; Brass Ceiling, commissioned and recorded by the U.S. Army Band; And Still We Dream, commissioned by Lyric Opera of Kansas City, honoring 100 years of suffrage; Wilde Tales, commissioned by Glimmerglass Festival and a pandemic opera for Opera Theatre of St. Louis with libretto by Taura Stinson & Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum.
Karpman is a fierce champion for DEI in Hollywood. After founding the Alliance for Women Film Composers, she was elected the first female Governor in the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. During her two consecutive three-year terms, she implemented sweeping change, facilitating the admission of dozens of underrepresented voices, co-founded the Academy Women’s Initiative, co-chaired the LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, helped to create the Code of Conduct and update the bylaws with more inclusive, representative language. Her leadership in creating opportunity and advocating for inclusion is unparalleled.
Karpman was an advisor for the Sundance Film Institute and is on the faculty of the USC Film Scoring Program. She received a doctorate from The Juilliard School, where she studied with 20th century icon Milton Babbitt.
She lives and works in Los Angeles with her wife, composer Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum, their son and two dogs.
5 Emmy Awards, multiple BMI Film & TV Award Winner, CINE Golden Eagle Winner, multiple HMMAs, Critics Choice