Gunnar Madsen
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Gunnar Madsen


Band Pop Children's Music


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Still working on that hot first release.



Gunnar Madsen is an award-winning composer, singer, writer, sound designer, filmmaker and actor. As the
founder and songwriter for the acclaimed a capella group The Bobs, Madsen fractured and re-constructed
the rules for popular music. His solo efforts have yielded critically acclaimed albums across dramatically
different genres. Deftly weaving elements of storytelling and theatricality, Madsen’s live performance con-
tinues his exploration of classical and pop genres grounded in simple, beautiful, music-making.
Mr. Madsen has received commissions from Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Theater Center, the Minne-
sota Opera, Oberlin Dance Collective, ISO Dance Theater, National Public Radio and many others. His
music is featured in many episodes of HBO’s Sex and the City, and in the films The Break Up, Just a Kiss,
Breaking the Rules and A Special Providence. He is a featured performer on the soundtrack of At Play in
the Fields of the Lord, in the National Geographic Special Asteroids: Deadly Impact, and is the emotionally
charged voice of Sammy Davis, Jr. in the Emmy-award winning HBO film, The Rat Pack. He can also be
seen in the Vince Vaughan/Jennifer Aniston hit “The Break Up” (for which he also arranged the music).
Spanning more than 20 years, Madsen’s musical career has constantly pushed the boundaries. After
10 years in the studio and on the road singing acapella with The Bobs, Madsen’s first solo album, Spin-
ning World, 13 Ways of Looking at a Waltz was a stunning collection of instrumental waltzes - no singing!
The album has won thousands of fans worldwide. Released concurrently with Spinning World, Madsen’s
second solo effort, The Power of a Hat, (“David Byrne-meets-Rinde Eckert art-pop” SFBG) charted on rock
and college radio. Next, he turned his creative and versatile musical vision to work for children, releasing
two award-winning family CDs, Old Mr. Mackle Hackle and Ants in My Pants! Inspired by his compositions
for many hit video games, his latest recording, Fall of Troy, is a deliciously dark orchestral epic.
Filmmaker. Broadway composer. Children’s Book Author.
In the fall of 2000 Gunnar journeyed to Russia to write and direct a documentary on a remarkable farm-
ing community for disabled people. The film, finished in May 2001, was an official selection of the Ojai
International Film Festival and enjoyed a week-long run at Berkeley’s Fine Arts Cinema. Gunnar’s new
stage musical based on the outsider group The Shaggs (with collaborator Joy Gregory) has played in
Los Angeles, Chicago and New York to thunderous critical and popular acclaim. According to The New
York Times, it is “Unsettling, disturbing, challenging, even a little awe-inspiring.” It won Best Original
Score from Entertainment Today, the Ovation Award for Best World Premier Musical, and Musical of the
Year and Best Score from the LA Weekly and Backstage West. Madsen’s colorful new storybook adapta-
tion of his song Old Mr. Mackle Hackle was published by Little, Brown in 2005.
Gunnar is the recipient of numerous music and theater awards, including a Grammy nomination, Izzy nomi-
nation, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award and the ASCAP special award for 10 consecutive years. His
family CDs have received hatfuls of prestigious awards, including Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Oppenheim
Toy Portfolio Gold, NAPPA Gold, Scholastic Teacher’s Pick Award, and the CMW Best Recording for Older
Children award.
Gunnar’s albums with The Bobs remain in print on Rhino and Rounder Records. Fall of Troy is Madsen’s
eleventh (11th) CD, and his combined album sales total more than 150,000. A Bay Area native, Gunnar
Madsen currently resides in Berkeley, CA where he continues his many music, theater, film and writing