Penka Kouneva: Game And Hollywood Composer

Have you played Gears of War 3? Tranformers? Did you watch Pirates of the Carribean? You’ve met Penka.

Penka Kouneva is a Sundance Composer Fellow and a rising Hollywood film composer who blends her native Eastern-European influences with modern orchestra, medieval chant, rock, and electronica. Recently, she composed additional score for the video games “PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE FORGOTTEN SANDS,” “GEARS OF WAR 3,” “A4″ and “TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN” working alongside the TRANSFORMERS composer Steve Jablonsky.  Her solo scores include the feature film MIDNIGHT MOVIE, the crime drama THE THIRD NAIL, the Sci-Fi Channel creature horror ICE SPIDERS and TV music for FORENSIC FILES on CourtTV, DOG FIGHTS and MODERN MARVELS. Penka has also scored five documentaries, including the environmental film FLORIDA KEYS. Penka’s music is known for its emotional, haunting and soulful tone.Penka is also an Orchestrator and Lead Orchestrator on films: TRANSFORMERS 1, 2, 3, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 3, HOSTEL I and II, Tim Burton’s “9″, SHERLOCK HOLMES, ANGELS AND DEMONS, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, YOUR HIGHNESS, the hit TV shows TRUE BLOOD, REVENGE, etc.  She has orchestrated on the games GEARS OF WAR 2, 3, SIMS 3, TRANSFORMERS (for Steve Jablonsky), Blizzard’s WORLD OF WARCRAFT, STARCRAFT II and DIABLO III (for Neal Acree), and DRAGON AGE 2, LOTR: WAR IN THE NORTH and TELARA (for Inon Zur).
Penka was born and raised in Sofia (Bulgaria), started piano lessons at 6 and wrote incidental music for children’s theater shows at 12.  In 1984 (age 17) her song won Grand Prix at the Tokyo Young Composers Competition.  Upon graduating from the Music Academy in 1990, she ventured out of post-communist Bulgaria and came to the US to make a life for herself as a composer. She had $130 in her pocket and a Duke University graduate fellowship. In 1997, she made history at Duke by receiving the first-ever Doctorate in Composition from this distinguished institution. At Duke, she studied with the celebrated orchestral composers Stephen Jaffe, Scott Lindroth and with the Dutch postmodern minimalist Louis Andriessen. During the 90′s Penka enjoyed a successful career as a concert composer. Soon after Penka arrived in Los Angeles in 1999, she began her career as an orchestrator for Emmy-winning composer Patrick Williams while learning the ropes of film scoring. Later that year, Cliff Eidelman gave Kouneva her first scoring break, the AFI thesis short “SHADOWS.”  Penka Kouneva has since been honored with WorldFest’s Platinum Remi for Best Score, the Aaron Copland Award, the Sundance Institute Composer Lab Fellowship, Meet the Composer Award and numerous Artist Fellowships.

VIDEOGAMES (co-composer, additional composer):


[atab title="Gears of War 3"]additional cues and score production supervision, with Steve Jablonsky
Produced by Epic Games; Published by Microsoft[/atab]

co-composer, with Steve Jablonksy

Produced and published by Ubisoft

[atab title="TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (all platforms)"]

additional composer, with Steve Jablonsky
Produced by Hasbro; Published by Activision



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