Karpman sets to music Langston Hughes' under-appreciated Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz, telling the story of America through culture, wit, beauty, and pain.
Karpman's momentum: "The momentum in my life is to create music of the utmost rigor, emotional content, and social consciousness. Composing is my tool for creating social change."
Four-time Emmy Award-winning composer Laura Karpman's music has been performed by, among others, the Los Angeles and Czech Philharmonics, National, Detroit, and Prague Symphonies, and American Composers Orchestra.
Her recent multimedia work, ASK YOUR MAMA, on a text by Langston Hughes, was written for soprano Jessye Norman, and hip-hop band The Roots. ASK YOUR MAMA openly addresses a conversation about race through music. It was commissioned by Carnegie Hall, where its sold-out premiere received standing ovations; and its West Coast debut was at the Hollywood Bowl on August 30. Karpman has also written scores for Steven Spielberg, PBS, Smithsonian, documentarian Barbara Koppel, the Chinese Government (for which she received an Annie Award nomination), and videogame music for Sony Online Entertainment.
She has received the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Ives Fellowship and several ASCAP and Meet the Composer awards. She has a doctorate from The Juilliard School, is on the UCLA faculty and was recently a guest composer of The Juilliard Composition Forum. She is currently writing works for the Los Angeles Opera, actress Tonya Pinkins, and percussionist Evelyn Glennie.