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The Best of Hans Zimmer

The Best of Hans Zimmer (with sheet music)

Hans Florian Zimmer (born 12 September 1957) is a German film score composer and record producer. Zimmer’s works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. Since the 1980s, he has composed music for over 150 films. His works include The Lion King, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1995, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Interstellar, Gladiator, Crimson Tide, Inception, Dunkirk, and The Dark Knight Trilogy. He has received four Grammy Awards, three Classical BRIT Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award. He was also named on the list of Top 100 Living Geniuses, published by The Daily Telegraph.

Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios and works with other composers through the company that he founded, Remote Control Productions, formerly known as Media Ventures. His studio in Santa Monica, California has an extensive range of computer equipment and keyboards, allowing demo versions of film scores to be created quickly.

Zimmer has collaborated on multiple projects with directors including Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, Gore Verbinski, Michael Bay, and Christopher Nolan.

Find Franz Zimmer’s complete sheet music books in our Library.

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German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood’s most innovative musical talents. He featured in the music video for The Buggles’ single “Video Killed the Radio Star”, which became a worldwide hit and helped usher in a new era of global entertainment as the first music video to be aired on MTV (August 1, 1981).

Hans Florian Zimmer was born in Frankfurt am Main, then in West Germany, the son of Brigitte (Weil) and Hans Joachim Zimmer. He entered the world of film music in London during a long collaboration with famed composer and mentor Stanley Myers, which included the film Mi hermosa lavandería (1985). He soon began work on several successful solo projects, including the critically acclaimed A World Apart, and during these years Zimmer pioneered the use of combining old and new musical technologies. Today, this work has earned him the reputation of being the father of integrating the electronic musical world with traditional orchestral arrangements.

A turning point in Zimmer’s career came in 1988 when he was asked to score Rain Man for director Barry Levinson. The film went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year and earned Zimmer his first Academy Award Nomination for Best Original Score. The next year, Zimmer composed the score for another Best Picture Oscar recipient, Paseando a Miss Daisy (1989), starring Jessica Tandy, and Morgan Freeman.

Having already scored two Best Picture winners, in the early 1990s, Zimmer cemented his position as a pre-eminent talent with the award-winning score for El rey león (1994). The soundtrack has sold over 15 million copies to date and earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Score, a Golden Globe, an American Music Award, a Tony, and two Grammy Awards. In total, Zimmer’s work has been nominated for 7 Golden Globes, 7 Grammys and seven Oscars for Rain Man (1988), Gladiator (El gladiador) (2000), El rey león (1994), Mejor… imposible (1997), The La mujer del predicador (1996), La delgada línea roja (1998), El príncipe de Egipto (1998), and El último samurái (2003).

With his career in full swing, Zimmer was anxious to replicate the mentoring experience he had benefited from under Stanley Myers‘ guidance. With state-of-the-art technology and a supportive creative environment, Zimmer was able to offer film-scoring opportunities to young composers at his Santa Monica-based musical “think tank.” This approach helped launch the careers of such notable composers as Mark Mancina, John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams, Nick Glennie-Smith, and Klaus Badelt.

In 2000, Zimmer scored the music for Gladiator (El gladiador) (2000), for which he received an Oscar nomination, in addition to Golden Globe and Broadcast Film Critics Awards for his epic score. It sold more than three million copies worldwide and spawned a second album Gladiator: More Music From The Motion Picture, released on the Universal Classics/Decca label. Zimmer’s other scores that year included Misión: Imposible 2 (2000), La ruta hacia El Dorado (2000), and Agarrados por los pelos (2000), directed by Barry Levinson.

Some of his other impressive scores include Pearl Harbor (2001), The Ring (La señal) (2002), four films directed by Ridley Scott; Los impostores (2003), Hannibal (2001), Black Hawk derribado (2001), and Thelma & Louise (1991), Penny Marshall‘s Los chicos de mi vida (2001), and Ellas dan el golpe (1992), Tony Scott‘s Amor a quemarropa (1993), Lágrimas del sol (2003), Ron Howard‘s Llamaradas (1991), Días de trueno (1990), Smila: Misterio en la nieve (1997), and the animated Spirit: El corcel indomable (2002) for which he also co-wrote four of the songs with Bryan Adams, including the Golden Globe nominated Here I Am.

At the 27th annual Flanders International Film Festival, Zimmer performed live for the first time in concert with a 100-piece orchestra and a 100-piece choir. Choosing selections from his impressive body of work, Zimmer performed newly orchestrated concert versions of Gladiator, Misión: Imposible 2 (2000), Rain Man (1988), El rey león (1994), and La delgada línea roja (1998). The concert was recorded by Decca and released as a concert album entitled “The Wings Of A Film: The Music Of Hans Zimmer.”

Last year, Zimmer completed his 100th film score for the film The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise, for which he received both a Golden Globe and a Broadcast Film Critics nomination. Zimmer then scored Nancy Meyers‘ comedy Cuando menos te lo esperas (2003), the animated Dreamworks film, El espantatiburones (2004) (featuring voices of Will Smith, Renée Zellweger, Robert De Niro, Jack Black, and Martin Scorsese), and Jim Brooks’ Spanglish (2004) starring Adam Sandler and Téa Leoni (for which he also received a Golden Globe nomination). His 2005 projects include Paramount’s El hombre del tiempo (2005) starring Nicolas Cage, Dreamworks’ Madagascar (2005), and the Warner Bros. summer release, Batman Begins (2005).

Zimmer’s additional honors and awards include the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in Film Composition from the National Board of Review, and the Frederick Loewe Award in 2003 at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. He has also received ASCAP’s Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement. Hans and his wife live in Los Angeles and he is the father of four children.