Carter Burwell’s journey leading up to his career as a successful film composer is rather unusual. Carter studied both animation and electronic music at Harvard College. After graduating, he started to work as a computer scientist, writing software for image processing, lab automation and protein analysis and as a computer modeller and animator, before becoming Director of Digital Sound Research at the New York Institute of Technology.

During the 80’s, Carter pursued a parallel career in music, playing with a number of bands in New York City (The Same, Thick Pigeon, Radiante) and writing music for dance, theatre and film. He has composed the music for more than 80 feature films since the Coen Brothers first hired him to compose the original score for their debut, 'Blood Simple', back in 1984. With their collaboration for at least 15 films, the trio, together with Academy Award winning sound designer Skip Lievsay, has been responsible for carving the sonic architecture of some of the most notable films over the last 30 years such as 'Barton Fink', 'The Hudsucker Proxy', 'The Big Lebowski', 'Fargo', 'No Country For Old Men' and 'Hail, Caesar!'.

“Carter Burwell is one of the most fascinating composers because he always succeeds in coming up with the right sound and the perfect atmosphere for the films he’s working on. Carter composes in various musical styles and disposes a rich palette of both acousitc and electronic colors.”
- dirk brossé, conductor

Burwell has also scored four of Todd Haynes’ projects, including most recently 'Wonderstruck' and received an Academy nomination for Best Original Score for 'Carol' in 2015 and an Emmy Award for HBO’s mini-series 'Mildred Pierce'. He has also scored all the films of director Martin McDonagh with 'In Bruges', 'Seven Psychopaths' and this year’s multiple award-winning 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'. Some of his other notable film scores include the Spike Jonze’s films 'Being John Malkovich', 'Adaptation' and 'Where the Wild Things Are'; Bill Condon’s 'Gods and Monsters', 'Mr. Holmes', 'The Fifth Estate and The Twilight Saga'; David O. Russell’s 'Three Kings' and 'Anomalisa' directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman.

Carter Burwell is currently writing the original music to the newest Coen Brothers production: the upcoming Netflix film 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs'.