11-14-1939

Wendy Carlos

WENDY CARLOS, American composer, born; A composer and electronic musician, Carlos is one of the first famous performers of electronic music using synthesizers, most famously, Switched On Bach and the Well-Tempered Synthesizer. Born Walter Carlos, in 1972, Carlos underwent gender reassignment surgery. The last release to be credited to her as Walter Carlos was By Request (1975).

The first release credited to her as Wendy Carlos was Switched-On Brandenburgs (1979). Carlos’s first public appearance after her gender transition was in an interview in the May 1979 issue of Playboy magazine, a decision she would come to regret because of the unwelcome publicity it brought to her personal life. On her official site, her transition is discussed in an essay stating that she values her privacy on the subject. Carlos composed and recorded music for the soundtrack of the film A Clockwork Orange. She worked with Stanley Kubrick again on the score for The Shining, although in the end, Kubrick used mostly pre-existing music cues from other composers. In 1982, she scored the theatrical film Tron for Disney.