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American Composers Festival 2014: From Screen to Score

Elliot Goldenthal

Elliot GoldenthalComposer Elliot Goldenthal creates works for orchestra, theater, opera, ballet and film.

In 2006, Goldenthal’s original two-act opera Grendel, directed by Julie Taymor, premiered at the Los Angeles Opera and had its east coast debut as the centerpiece of the Lincoln Center Festival in New York.  Goldenthal was named one of the two finalists for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in music for his work on Grendel.

Goldenthal was commissioned by the American Ballet Theatre to compose a three-act ballet of Othello, which debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in May 1997. Othello was choreographed by Lar Lubovitch. In October 2009, the Joffrey Ballet showcased Othello in nine performances in Chicago and revived it again in spring 2013.

Goldenthal’s large-scale symphonic piece, Fire Water Paper: A Vietnam Oratorio, was commissioned by Pacific Symphony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. It was released in 1996 on Sony Classical Records and featured soloist Yo-Yo Ma. It debuted at Pacific Symphony and was later performed at Carnegie Hall and at The Kennedy Center, with Seiji Ozawa conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Goldenthal has composed music for more than a dozen theatrical productions including Juan Darién:  A Carnival Mass, which was directed by Taymor. It received five Tony nominations including Best Musical, and Original Musical Score for Goldenthal when it was produced at Lincoln Center, an Obie Award Off-Broadway for Goldenthal, as well as four Drama Desk nominations. His other theatrical credits include The Transposed Heads, The Green Bird and The King Stag directed by Andrei Serban.

Goldenthal received an Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award for his score for Frida directed by Taymor, having also received Oscar nominations for the film’s original song “Burn It Blue” with lyrics by Taymor, and  Oscar nominations for his music for Neil Jordan’s Interview With the Vampire and Michael Collins.  Also notable among his more than 30 film scores are Michael Mann’s Public Enemies and Heat, Neil Jordan’s The Butcher Boy and Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, Across The Universe and Titus. Additionally, he has received two Golden Globe nominations and three Grammy Award nominations.  Goldenthal was inducted into the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Hall of Fame in Spring 2013.

Goldenthal most recently composed the original music for a production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Julie Taymor for Theatre for a New Audience in Fall 2013.

National Endowment of the Arts