On Air Now
The Full Works Concert with Jane Jones 8pm - 10pm
27 June 2019, 13:34 | Updated: 27 June 2019, 13:36
Hans Zimmer is one of the world’s most successful film composers – here’s everything you need to know about the movie maestro, including how to hear his music live
Hans Zimmer was born in Frankfurt, Germany on 12 September 1957. He has said that his musical training was just two weeks of piano lessons and joining a band: “I am self-taught. But I’ve always heard music in my head. And I’m a child of the 20th century; computers came in very handy.”
It might be quicker to answer which movies he didn’t write the music for… Sometimes it feels like Hans Zimmer has written the music for every blockbuster of the last few decades. His film scores include: Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy and The Lion King.
He also wrote the music for Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II.
He's one of the most successful film composers of all time, but no one really knows what his net worth is.
According to various online sources, his net worth could be $90 million – or as much as $200 million.
Besides the soundtrack albums for all the films he’s scored, Hans Zimmer has also released albums called ‘Hans Zimmer Live in Prague’ (2017) and ‘The World of Hans Zimmer – A Symphonic Celebration’ (2019).
Tickets are currently on sale for ‘The World of Hans Zimmer: A Symphonic Celebration’ in venues across Europe, including a performance at London’s O2 Arena on 26 November. Buy tickets here.
Although Zimmer didn’t have any formal training, he began his music career in the 1970s playing in the band Krakatoa playing keyboards and synthesizers.
He began working with film composer Stanley Myers on films including Moonlighting (1982). His first solo score was Terminal Exposure (1987), directed by Nico Mastorakis.
Shortly afterwards he was approached by Barry Levinson to write the music for the 1988 film Rain Man and his Hollywood career began to take off.
Zimmer combines traditional instruments with electronic sounds and techniques. For example, the soundtrack for Inception includes electronically manipulated clips from the song ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’.
And the music for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk uses the sound of a ticking watch Nolan owned while also referencing Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ from the Enigma Variations.
Zimmer has only won one Oscar – for Best Original Score for The Lion King in 1995. That score also won a Golden Globe, an award he won again in 2001 for his work on Gladiator with Lisa Gerrard.