Hildur Guðnadóttir made history at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards February 9th by winning her Oscar win for best original score for Joker. She is only the third woman to win the Academy Award for Best Score, and the first in 23 years.

“This is so touching,” Hildur said on accepting the award at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. “Thank you to the Academy for welcoming me so warmly. My fellow nominees, masters of the craft, it has been such an honor to get to know you all. It has been so special.”

Hildur spoke passionately as she closed her speech: “To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up. We need to hear your voices.”

She’s also three-quarters of the way to an EGOT in less than five months. The fastest that anyone has amassed that many high level entertainment Awards. (EGOT is an abbreviation for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony.)

Hildur kicked off this winning streak at the creative arts Emmys in September winning for the mini-series Chernobyl, and followed with a Grammy on January 26th for best soundtrack for visual media on the same production. This last weekend she won the Oscar for Joker.  She also is the first woman to win a solo Golden Globe for music, again for Joker.

Her work on Chernobyl included going into an actual nuclear power plant in Lithuania to sample the sounds of the environment. She then manipulated them into musical textures and added her electric cello.

The Icelandic-born, Berlin-based cellist-composer is known for her dark and disturbing industrial soundtracks, but she has an active career in live performance and collaborating on pop albums (more on her site Hildurness.com).

The first woman to score a blockbuster superhero film is Pinar Toprak for Captain Marvel, also in 2019.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.