Penka Kouneva: A Composer’s Odyssey

Born in Bulgaria, classically trained composer Penka Kouneva has spent the past 13 years working primarily as a top orchestrator for some of Hollywood’s biggest composers. Her credits include the Transformers films, Angels & Demons [M] (2009), The Hole (2009), and Hostel I and II, plus a multitude of video games.

As a solo composer, Kouneva’s tackled several indie productions (Midnight Movie [M]), but her best work is the concept album A Warrior’s Odyssey [M], written for a fictional video game. Part demo CD and personal project designed to challenge her own skills, WO features a strong blend of folk themes and muscular writing which reflects her adeptness in the action genre.

In our conversation, Kouneva recalls her entry into film scoring, her mentoring years, and the challenges of working within the demanding Hollywood system.

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