Joseph Trapanese

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Joseph Trapanese
Trapanese conducting his score for Disney's Lady and the Tramp at Sony's Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage
Trapanese conducting his score for Disney's Lady and the Tramp at Sony's Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage
Background information
Born1984 (age 39–40)
OriginNew Jersey, United States
GenresFilm score, jazz, electronic, ambient
Occupation(s)Film composer, orchestrator, arranger, conductor, music producer
Years active2006–present

Joseph Trapanese (born 7 August 1984) is an American composer, arranger, and producer. He works in the production of music for films, television, records, theater, concerts, and interactive media.

Early life and education[edit]

Raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Trapanese attended Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School before moving on to the Manhattan School of Music.[1]

Film and television music[edit]

Early career[edit]

Trapanese began his composing career by collaborating with Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) on the soundtrack for the Walt Disney Pictures film Tron: Legacy. His arrangements for the soundtrack have been described as "resolutely grand"[2] and "stirring... ominous, hypnotic".[3] The BBC described the work as "a sophisticated integration of acoustic and electronic instrumentation... majestic… rich, solemn tones… saturnine orchestration and a muscular rhythm”.[4]


Trapanese in 2013

Trapanese has composed for numerous projects, including Disney XD's animated series Tron: Uprising,[5] Sony Pictures Classics' The Raid: Redemption (cocomposed with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park), Sony Pictures Television's original web series The Bannen Way, the independent feature Mamitas (featured at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival),[6] and numerous live-action and animated films from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television. Trapanese contributed musical arrangements to Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, What Happens in Vegas and Traitor. Alongside composer Daniel Licht, Trapanese produced and orchestrated the scores for seasons 3 and 4 of Showtime's original series Dexter, and provided orchestrations for seasons 5 and 6. The 2012 teaser trailer for Iron Man 3 features Trapanese's composition Something to Fight For.[7][8]

His career eventually lead to working on major studio feature films working solo and alongside recording artists. Some of his well known credits include Universal Studios's Straight Outta Compton,[9] Lionsgate Films's The Divergent Series: Insurgent,[10] Sony Pictures Classics' The Raid 2,[11] and Universal Studios's Oblivion (co-composed with Anthony Gonzalez of M83).[12]

In 2017 he scored the Sony Pictures feature Only the Brave, his third collaboration with director Joseph Kosinski, and co-scored the 20th Century Fox musical The Greatest Showman alongside composer John Debney. On that film he produced several of the chart-topping songs from the film written by Oscar-winning duo Justin Paul and Benj Pasek.[13]

Music collaboration with artists[edit]

Following his collaborations with Daft Punk on Tron: Legacy, Anthony Gonzalez (M83) on Oblivion, and Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) on The Raid: Redemption, Trapanese continues to work with artists in film scoring, album production, and live events.

On August 7, 2015 Dr. Dre released his long-awaited third album Compton which featured string arrangements by Trapanese and Jennifer Hammond. They were conducted by Trapanese at the Straight Outta Compton scoring sessions at the Sony Pictures Studios scoring stage in Culver City.

On February 27, 2015 Kelly Clarkson released her seventh album Piece by Piece which featured an orchestra arranged and conducted by Trapanese recorded at EastWest Studios in Hollywood. He collaborated with producers Greg Kurstin, Jesse Shatkin, and Jason Halbert on the project.

On September 22, 2013, Trapanese performed with M83 at the Hollywood Bowl as conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.[14] For the concert, Trapanese arranged new orchestral material for songs from Before The Dawn Heals Us, Saturdays=Youth, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, and Oblivion. He also arranged and conducted an orchestra for M83's show at Central Park Summerstage in New York City on August 8, 2012.[15]

Released on October 25, 2013, by RCA Records, Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red features an orchestra arranged and conducted by Trapanese.[16] Produced by Greg Kurstin, it is Clarkson's first Christmas-themed release, featuring cover versions of various Christmas standards in addition to original material. As part of the album's promotion, on October 30, 2013, Trapanese led the orchestra for Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale at The Venetian Las Vegas, which was broadcast on NBC on December 11, 2013.

Trapanese collaborated with Active Child on the arrangement of "Silhouette" (featuring Ellie Goulding) for his 2013 EP Rapor. In addition to the album, he provided new string and choir arrangements for his performances in Melbourne, London, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.[17]

For 2012's The Bourne Legacy, Trapanese worked with Moby on a new orchestral version of his "Extreme Ways".[18]

On October 18, 2011, M83's double-disc album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming released with five tracks arranged by Trapanese. Trapanese's work can be heard on "Intro", "Wait", "Soon, My Friend", "My Tears Are Becoming a Sea", and "Outro".[19]

Trapanese co-wrote and co-produced the song "Do or Die" with 3OH!3 from their album Omens.[20]

Music for live theater[edit]

The music Trapanese has produced for theater is performed primarily in New York City, most notably in productions by The Actors Company Theatre. Recent productions that he has provided music for include T. S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party, Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy, Václav Havel's The Memorandum, and Edward Bond's The Sea. His music for the production of Milan Stitt's The Runner Stumbles was described by the New York Times as "Precise and evocative... wistful, ringing melodies”.[21]

Awards and honors[edit]


Trapanese completed his bachelor's degree in composition at the Manhattan School of Music, and later an M.A. in Music for Visual Media at UCLA, with support from the Henry Mancini fund. Joseph's tutors included Giampaolo Bracali, Bruce Broughton, Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, Jack Smalley, and Martin Bresnick, and he also engaged in brief studies with Louis Andriessen, Aaron Jay Kernis, Julia Wolfe, Mark Snow, and Ira Newborn. From 2008 to 2011, Trapanese taught the Electronic Music and Composition curriculum at UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music.[28]



Year Title Director(s) Notes
2009 Countdown: Jerusalem Adam Silver
2010 Tron: Legacy Joseph Kosinski Composed with Daft Punk
First collaboration with Joseph Kosinski
2011 Mamitas Nicholas Ozeki
The Raid Gareth Evans Composed with Mike Shinoda
First collaboration with Gareth Evans
2013 Oblivion Joseph Kosinski Composed with M83
Second collaboration with Joseph Kosinski
2014 The Raid 2 Gareth Evans Composed with Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal
Second collaboration with Gareth Evans
Earth to Echo Dave Green
Stand Cosmos Kiindarius
Transformers: Age of Extinction Michael Bay Additional music
Score composed by Steve Jablonsky
2015 The Divergent Series: Insurgent Robert Schwentke First collaboration with Robert Schwentke
Straight Outta Compton F. Gary Gray
2016 The Divergent Series: Allegiant Robert Schwentke Second collaboration with Robert Schwentke
The Siege of Jadotville Richie Smyth
2017 Only the Brave Joseph Kosinski Third collaboration with Joseph Kosinski
Wolf Warrior 2 Wu Jing
Shimmer Lake Oren Uziel
The Greatest Showman Michael Gracey Composed with John Debney
Songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
2018 Arctic Joe Penna
Robin Hood Otto Bathurst
Sprinter Storm Saulter
2019 Stuber Michael Dowse First collaboration with Michael Dowse
Lady and the Tramp Charlie Bean
2020 Coffee & Kareem Michael Dowse Second collaboration with Michael Dowse
Project Power Henry Joost
Ariel Schulman
Spontaneous Brian Duffield First collaboration with Brian Duffield
2021 Finding 'Ohana Jude Weng
Prisoners of the Ghostland Sion Sono
Happily BenDavid Grabinski
8-Bit Christmas Michael Dowse Third collaboration with Michael Dowse
2022 Spiderhead Joseph Kosinski Performed by The London Contemporary Orchestra

Fourth collaboration with Joseph Kosinski

2023 The Machine Peter Atencio
No One Will Save You Brian Duffield Second collaboration with Brian Duffield


Year Title Notes
2009–10 The Bannen Way 16 episodes
2010–11 Suite 7 2 episodes
2012–13 Tron: Uprising 19 episodes
2016 Dead of Summer 10 episodes
2016–17 Quantico 20 episodes
Jean-Claude Van Johnson 6 episodes
2018 Unsolved 10 episodes
Berlin Station Episode: "Aut Concilio Aut Ense"
2019 Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Carnival of Doom Composed with Jason Lazarus
2021–23 Shadow and Bone
2021 The Witcher Season 2; 8 episodes[29]
2023–present Skull Island 8 episodes
Composed with Jason Lazarus
2023 Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Composed with Anamanaguchi

Video games[edit]

Year Title Developer Publisher
2014 The Crew Ivory Tower Ubisoft
2017 Need for Speed Payback Ghost Games Electronic Arts
2020 Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy's Edge ILMxLab Disney Electronic Content


  1. ^ Romero, Adrienne. "Jersey City still 'feels like home' to award-winning composer" Archived December 24, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, The Jersey Journal, March 18, 2019. Accessed December 24, 2019. "Joe Trapanese returned home from Hollywood on Friday to talk and help guide students of The Ethical Community Charter School about composing music and scoring for film, television and video games.... Trapanese went to McNair Academic High School and the Manhattan School of Music for his undergraduate studies."
  2. ^ Walters, Barry (December 7, 2010). "Daft Punk, 'Tron: Legacy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack' Review". Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  3. ^ "Daft Punk Mash Classical, Electronica to Shape 'Tron: Legacy's' Soundscape". The Hollywood Reporter. November 24, 2010. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  4. ^ "Music – Review of Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy". BBC. December 7, 2010. Archived from the original on May 7, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  5. ^ Mercedes Milligan (May 1, 2012). "Disney XD's 'TRON: Uprising' Coming Soon!". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "Film Interview: Off The Grid". Topanga Messenger. May 3, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  7. ^ "Iron Man 3 – Movie Trailers". Apple. May 3, 2013. Archived from the original on September 2, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  8. ^ "Something to Fight For by Joseph Trapanese on SoundCloud". Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  9. ^ Balfour, Jay (July 11, 2015). "Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar & Eminem To Feature On 'Straight Outta Compton' Soundtrack;". Complex Networks. Archived from the original on August 26, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  10. ^ Feeney, Nolan (November 25, 2014). "Exclusive: Joseph Trapanese scoring 'Divergent' sequel 'Insurgent'". Archived from the original on January 28, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  11. ^ Webb, Charles (March 28, 2014). "Interview: Composing for Hell – Joseph Trapanese Talks Scoring THE RAID 2". Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  12. ^ Feeney, Nolan (April 24, 2013). "M83 and the Music for 'Oblivion' |". Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  13. ^ Mendelson, Scott (December 20, 2017). "Greatest Showman' Review: Lots Of Songs, Not Much Story". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  14. ^ "Review: M83 and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra explore youth". Los Angeles Times. September 23, 2013. Archived from the original on December 22, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  15. ^ Amanda Hatfield (August 9, 2012). "M83 played Central Park Summerstage (pics, review, setlist)". Brooklyn Vegan. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  16. ^ "Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red". AllMusic. Archived from the original on January 24, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  17. ^ "Active Child" Archived January 24, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Facebook Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  18. ^ "Stream Moby's Orchestral New 'Bourne Legacy' Version Of "Extreme Ways"". Ology. July 31, 2012. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  19. ^ "M83 – Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. (CD, Album) at Discogs". October 18, 2011. Archived from the original on June 25, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  20. ^ "New Song: 3Oh!3, 'Do Or Die'". May 30, 2012. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  21. ^ Annette Midgette (November 12, 2007). "Murder and Hymns". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 15, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  22. ^ "2012 IFMCA Awards" Archived March 10, 2017, at the Wayback Machine,
  23. ^ "Discovery of the Year Nominees Announced" Archived October 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Filmfestival February 9, 2013.
  24. ^ "Vote for the ASCAP Composers’ Choice Awards" Archived December 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine May 31, 2014.
  25. ^ "World Soundtrack Awards Announce Nominees" Archived February 21, 2018, at the Wayback Machine September 14, 2015.
  26. ^ "16th Black Reel Award Winners" Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine February 19, 2016.
  27. ^ "‘Black Panther,’ ‘Walking Dead’ Rule Saturn Awards Nominations" Archived March 16, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Variety March 15, 2018.
  28. ^ [1] Archived July 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Joseph Trapanese Tapped as Composer of Netflix's 'The Witcher' Season 2". Film Music Reporter. October 29, 2021. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021. Retrieved December 13, 2021.

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