UPDATED with quote from producers: Veteran film and television composer Alf Clausen has lost his longtime gig with The Simpsons. Deadline confirmed a report by Variety that Clausen was let go from the show. Clausen was told he was fired because the company was seeking “a different kind of music,” Variety reported.
“We tremendously value Alf Clausen’s contributions to the Simpsons and he will continue to have an ongoing role in the show,” producers said Thursday in a statement. We remain committed to the finest in music for the Simpsons, absolutely including orchestral. This is the part where we would make a joke but neither Alf’s work nor the music of the Simpsons is treated as anything but seriously by us.”
It’s not clear what his ongoing role will be.
Clausen had been the sole composer for the show since 1990 through the end of the 28th season. The Simpsons used a 35-piece orchestra, which Clausen conducted, enabling the use of a wide variety of musical styles which the show required. The score was recorded weekly for each episode. Clausen did not compose the show’s iconic theme song — that was written by Danny Elfman – but he did a new arrangement of the theme for the show’s third season.
It’s not known who will be replacing Clausen for the show’s 29th season which premieres October 1 on Fox.
Clausen won two Emmys for The Simpsons, in 1997 and 1998, and received another 21 nominations for the show dating back to 1992. In all he received 30 Emmy nominations. He also won five Annie awards, all for The Simpsons.
Clausen has scored or orchestrated music for more than 30 films and TV shows, including Moonlighting, The Naked Gun, ALF and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.