Fox has let go of the composer for The Simpsons after 27 long years.
Variety reported today that two-time Emmy winner Alf Clausen has been fired from his role as the composer for The Simpsons. Clausen detailed the events that transpired, explaining that he received a call from Simpsons producer Richard Sakai. Sakai stated that the company was looking for “a different kind of music” and that Clausen would no longer be scoring music for the series. Variety reached out to Fox for a comment but was denied.
Clausen has with The Simpsons from the very start. His score for the series has since become iconic, winning him two Emmy awards along with 21 nominations. His work on The Simpsons has also won him five Annie Awards, leading to him being one of the most renowned creators in the world of animation music. With 27 years of work put into the series, Clausen has composed the scores for more than 560 episodes of The Simpsons. Outside of his work on The Simpsons, Clausen has created musical scores for popular tv series like Alf and Moonlighting. He’s also credited for his work on classic films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Variety speculates that Clausen’s dismissal may have something to do with cutting costs, a practice that the series is becoming known for despite its still massive profits. Clausen uses a 35-piece orchestra for every week, a method that was put in place by Simpsons creator Matt Groening when the series started airing. After adding the costs of musicians, recording studios and orchestration, the expenses total millions of dollars each year.
The final episode that made use of Clausen’s score for the series was the season finale of season 28, which aired earlier this year. There has been no comment on who will replace Clausen as the series’ composer. The Simpson’s main theme, composed by Danny Elfman, will likely continue to be used.