Hans Zimmer Brings Hollywood Scores to Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall honors the Hollywood composer and living legend Hans Zimmer with two consecutive concerts on July 24th and 25th. The artist has historically been reticent to perform on stage, but he has embraced the overwhelming popular devotion to his work and organized a worldwide tour, replete with a vast orchestra and elaborate stage lighting to accompany his compositions.

Each performance on the tour involves a unique program broken into two parts. “The first will feature some of Zimmer’s classic movie scores (GladiatorThe Lion KingPirates of the Caribbean), while the second will include “reimagined versions” of tracks from films such as The Dark Knight and Inception, featuring “special guests from the rock and pop world,” Pitchfork announced.

Zimmer began his musical career in the new wave band The Buggles, whose single “Video Killed the Radio Star” made history as the first music video to be aired on MTV – a phenomenon truly portentous for the musician. As the music video marked a milestone in the cohesion of visuals and music, this historical event set the course for a man who would stand alone as one of the most accomplished composers in the Hollywood firmament.

His original exploration into scoring films was an apprenticeship under composer Stanley Myers including the film My Beautiful Launderette in 1985. It was one of the first films directed by Stephen Frears who would later make a name for himself with Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and The Queen (2006). It was also an early art house break-out role for leading man Daniel Day Lewis.

Zimmer would soon come to attract widespread acclaim, and an Oscar nomination, for his scoring of Rain Man in 1998. He wanted to create an atmosphere supportive to the plotline, one that would invoke the ineffable worldview of Dennis Hoffman’s character and his struggle with autism. He primarily used the Fairlight for this endeavor, a rare early invention in synthesizers that was mastered only by a select few (namely Kate Bush on her album Hounds of Love.) Thus Zimmer would become famous for combining novel innovations in music with classical tropes familiarly used in the scoring of films.

Zimmer would continue to work with some of the most important filmmakers in the industry such as Ridley Scott (Thelma and Louise & Gladiator), Terrence Malick (Thin Red Line), Barry Levinson (Driving Miss Daisy), Quentin Tarantino (True Romance), and Christopher Nolan (The Batman Begins Series & Inception).

He has earned ten Academy Award nominations in total for Best Original Score, and one win for Disney’s The Lion King in 1995. The composer has always placed a strong emphasis on the value of collaboration in his work in regard to awards and recognition, reflected in the collective necessities of making films in general. ForGladiator, he shared his Academy Award nomination with vocalist Lisa Gerrard of the band Dead Can Dance. He insisted that more than a mere soloist, her creative contribution to the work was essential to its construction, and that credit must be due to her as well. He also shared his 2009 Academy Award for Batman Begins with James Newton Howard, challenging the Academy’s criteria that a single composer must be credited for scoring a film, which is unfailingly a collaborative effort.

In this spirit of generosity, Zimmer also developed a Think Tank in Santa Monica for aspiring young composers, lunching the careers of some of the field’s most promising young stars.

Among his prolific contributions to cinema, other notable scores by Zimmer include Days of Thunder, Backdraft, Crimson Tide, The Rock, As Good As It Gets, HannibalThe Ring, Black Hawk Down, The Last Samurai, Frost/Nixon, Sherlock Holmes, Twelve Years a Slave, and the recent Planet Earth II. An opportunity to experience a rare live performance from a composer of this magnitude at Radio City Music Hall would be as exhilarating as the cinematic exploits his work has artfully augmented. As the great Ridley Scott phrased it: “I listen to Zimmer’s music and I don’t even have to shut my eyes. I can see the pictures.”

Tickets to Hans Zimmer’s Radio City performances are available for purchase starting at $122 (click here to purchase).

Words by Micki Pellerano