Hans Zimmer

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About Hans Zimmer

It seems apt that the composer responsible for writing one of the most memorable jingles for a TV game show, Going for Gold (1987-1996), should become synonymous with success in Hollywood. Zimmer's rise to fame, peaking with Oscar recognition in 1995 for The Lion King and again in 2022 for his otherworldly Dune soundtrack, has seen him credited with more than 150 film scores ranging across styles and genres. It's his versatility—remember the playful use of percussion for his quirky main theme in Tony Scott's True Romance (1993)?—that has made him so successful for so long. That and his ability to draw on the strengths of collaborators: hear Pete Haycock's slide guitar in Thelma & Louise (1991) or Lisa Gerrard's haunting vocals on his popular Gladiator soundtrack (2000). Born in 1957 in Frankfurt, Zimmer received some tutoring at the piano but was largely self-taught. He was inspired to become a film composer by listening to the Sergio Leone Western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone. His partnership in the 1980s with film composer Stanley Myers taught Zimmer how to bring electronic and orchestral soundworlds together. Since then, he has written typically Hollywoodish orchestral scores—for the Pirates of the Caribbean series, for example—but also delighted in the sheer creativity of soundtrack writing, most memorably in Christopher Nolan's time-bending sci-fi Inception (2010), where Edith Piaf's "Non, je ne regrette rien" is ingeniously slowed down and reinvented.

Frankfurt, Germany
September 12, 1957
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