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Hans Florian Zimmer is a German film composer and music producer. Nowadays he lives in Los Angeles.
For nearly three decades Zimmer has composed music for over 100 films including some critically acclaimed film scores, such as The Lion King, Gladiator, and The Dark Knight. Some of his recent compositions for motion pictures are Sherlock Holmes (2009), Inception (2010), Megamind (2010), Rango (2011), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011).Biography:
Zimmer was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom, where he attended Hurtwood House school, before he moved to the United States.
While living in London, Zimmer wrote advertising jingles for Air-Edel Associates. In the 1980s, Zimmer partnered with Stanley Myers, a prolific film composer who wrote the scores for over sixty films. Zimmer and Myers co–founded the London–based Lillie Yard recording studio. Together, Myers and Zimmer worked on fusing the traditional orchestral sound with electronic instruments. Some of the films on which Zimmer and Myers worked are Moonlighting (1982), Success is the Best Revenge (1984), Insignificance (1985), and My Beautiful Launderette (1985). Zimmer's first solo score was Terminal Exposure for director Nico Mastorakis in 1987, for which he also wrote the songs. Zimmer acted as score producer for the 1987 film The Last Emperor, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.
In the 2000s, Zimmer has composed scores for Hollywood blockbuster films including Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), The Last Samurai (2003), The Da Vinci Code (2006) and The Simpsons Movie (2007). While writing the score for The Last Samurai, Zimmer felt that his knowledge of Japanese music was extremely limited. He began doing extensive research, but the more he studied, the less he felt he knew. Finally, Zimmer took what he had written to Japan for feedback and was shocked when he was asked how he knew so much about Japanese music.
During the scoring of The Last Samurai in spring 2003, Zimmer was approached by the producer Jerry Bruckheimer, with whom he had worked previously on Crimson Tide, The Rock and Pearl Harbor. Bruckheimer had finished shooting Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, but was unhappy with the music composed for the film by Alan Silvestri and wanted a replacement score. Bruckheimer wanted Zimmer to rescore the film, but due to his commitments on The Last Samurai, the task of composing and supervising music for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was given to Klaus Badelt, one of Zimmer's colleagues at Media Ventures. Zimmer provided some themes that were used in the film, although he is not credited on screen. Zimmer was hired as the composer for the three subsequent films in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), collaborating with Rodrigo y Gabriela.
Zimmer is also noted for his work on the scores of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008), on which he collaborated with James Newton Howard. The scores for these films were disqualified from receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score due to too many composers being listed on the cue sheet. Zimmer succeeded in reversing the decision not to nominate The Dark Knight in December 2008, arguing that the process of creating a modern film score was collaborative, and that it was important to credit a range of people who had played a part in its production.
His works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements.
He has received four Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, a Classical BRIT Award, and an Academy Award.
He is named also on the list of the "Top 100 living geniuses", published by The Daily Telegraph.
He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios and works with other composers through the company which he founded, Remote Control Productions.
Zimmer works with other composers through his company 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.
In October 2000, Zimmer performed live in concert for the first time with an orchestra and choir at the 27th Annual Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent. He has received a range of honors and awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in film Composition from the National Board of Review, the Frederick Loewe Award in 2003 at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, ASCAP’s Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement, and BMI's Richard Kirk Award for lifetime achievement in 1996. Recent work includes the Spanish language film Casi Divas, Sherlock Holmes, The Burning Plain (2009), and Inception (2010).
In December 2010, Zimmer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He dedicated the award to his publicist and long term friend Ronni Chasen, who was shot dead in Beverly Hills the previous month.