Filipina nabs an Emmy for music composition
LOS ANGELES – Filipina composer Denise Santos won for “Outstanding Music Composition” at the 42ndAnnual News & Documentary Emmy Awards on Sept. 28.
The Los Angeles-based Santos, Ateneo graduate, is a composer specializing in TV and film music. She shares the Emmy with writing partner Adam Lukas for their work on the BBC-commissioned documentary, Primates.
A music enthusiast since childhood in the Philippines, she started taking music lessons at four and became a member of a number of rock, pop and punk bands while still practicing classical piano.
She nearly gave up on a music career while studying management in college, but eventually returned to her first passion by trying a few things, studying music production, arranging for singer-songwriter friends until discovering the world of film scoring.
Film scoring perfectly fits her eclectic musical taste and best utilizes my love for different genres and ability to play various instruments. She scored her first feature film in 2012.
Aside from Primates, Santos also scored TV movie Death Saved My Life, six episodes of the TV series documentary Gathering Storm, and a long list of feature films, documentaries and shorts including Samantha Lee’s Baka Bukas and Billie and Emma; Surviving Jeffrey Epstein (Lifetime); and Making the Cut (Amazon Prime). She still writes for the collective Bleeding Fingers Music.
Santos graduated with a BS in communication management from Ateneo de Manila University before getting a professional certificate in music production from Berkleemusic. She then studied film scoring at University of California in Los Angeles Extension.