A bold, incandescent talent, Laura Karpman is an award-winning composer and a tireless champion for women in music. With a doctorate from Juilliard, she brings a uniquely vivid, conceptual voice to her body of work that spans film, television, concert halls, theater and video games.
The four-time Emmy® winner’s previous film and television credits include the Netflix fan-favorite romantic comedy, Set It Up, Eleanor Coppola’s Paris Can Wait, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club Encore, Fox Searchlight’s Step and Black Nativity, WGN America’s award-winning historical drama series Underground, PBS’ Peabody award-winning series Craft in America, and HBO’s Regarding Susan Sontag.
Across concert halls, Karpman is best known for her GRAMMY® Award-winning album, Ask Your Mama, a multimedia opera based on an iconic cycle of poems by Langston Hughes, commissioned by Carnegie Hall. Karpman collaborated with The Roots and opera singer Jessye Norman on the piece. Karpman’s concert music has been commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Concordia, the American Composers’ Orchestra, Metropole Orkest, Northwest Sinfonia, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, as well as the Detroit, Houston, National, New York Youth, Richmond, and El Paso Symphonies. Additional credits include Siren Songs, The Hidden World of Girls, One Ten Project, Different Lanes, The Transitive Property of Equality, Waxing Nostalgic and Now All Set.
Upcoming, Karpman’s work will be heard in the female-led drama series, L.A.’s Finest, starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, the Discovery Channel docuseries Why We Hate and the independent film Miss Virginia, starring Uzo Aduba.
In 2014, Karpman founded The Alliance for Women Film Composers; in 2015, she became the third woman inducted into the music branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and one year later, Karpman was elected the first female governor of the music branch.
A passionate educator, Karpman served as a professor at UCLA in the School of Theater, Film, and Television From 2005-2009. In 2012, she launched the first Master’s degree film-scoring program at Berklee College of Music, where she taught videogame scoring as well as film composition. Karpman has lectured at The Juilliard School, USC, UCLA, Mills College, Berklee College of Music, Emerson College and The Tides Momentum Leadership Conference. Karpman also serves as an advisor for the Sundance Film Scoring Labs and is on the faculty of the USC Film Scoring Program and the New Media and Music Technology Program at the San Francisco Conservatory.
Currently, Karpman resides in Los Angeles with her wife, son and two dogs.