Zimmer entered the world of film music in London during a long collaboration with famed composer and mentor Stanley Myers. He soon began to 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‚ Driving Miss Daisy.
In the early 90s Zimmer cemented his position as a pre-eminent talent with the score for The Lion King that earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Score, a Golden Globe‚ a Tony and two Grammy Awards. In total‚ Zimmer’s work has been nominated for ten Golden Globes‚ eleven Grammys, and eight Oscars for Rainman (1988)‚ Gladiator (2001), The Lion King (1994)‚ As good As It Gets (1997)‚ The Preacher´s Wife (1996)‚ The Thin Red Line (1998)‚ The Prince Of Egypt (1998), The Last Samurai (2003), and Inception (2010).
Some of his further scores include Hannibal (2001), Pearl Harbor (2002), The Da Vinci Code (2006), 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), as well as Christopher Nolan’s series Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008—co-composed with colleague James Newton Howard) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
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, his wife and his four children live in Los Angeles, California.