Digital music pioneer to be feted at annual gala

The National Board of Review has kicked off its annual kudo roundup with the announcement of a career achievement award to film composer Hans Zimmer, whose work on Warners’ upcoming “The Last Samurai” marks his 100th score.

The award will be presented to Zimmer at the NBR’s annual gala Jan. 13 in New York. Org’s full list of 2003 honorees will be announced Dec. 3.

Zimmer began his career in London in the mid-1980s after achieving chart success as a pop artist before teaming with composer Stanley Meyers on “The Deer Hunter” and “My Beautiful Launderette.” His first solo score was “A World Apart” in 1988.

In addition to winning an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Grammy and Tony for his score to “The Lion King,” Zimmer has received six Oscar nominations: for “Rain Man,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “The Thin Red Line,” “As Good as It Gets,” “The Preacher’s Wife” and “The Prince of Egypt.”

Composer has worked extensively with brothers Tony and Ridley Scott, scoring “True Romance,” “Crimson Tide,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator,” “Hannibal,” “Thelma & Louise” and the recent “Matchstick Men.”

Zimmer is considered a pioneer in the use of synthesizers, digital instruments and computer technology and was one of the first film composers to integrate electronic sound with traditional orchestral arrangements.

Previous winners of the NBR’s music composition award include Ennio Morricone, John Williams and Elmer Bernstein.

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