Composers Biography

Howard Shore is one of today’s most respected and honored composers and music conductors. Shore’s music has been performed in concerts throughout the world including Washington International School! In 2003, Shore conducted his own masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, at the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the world premiere of its new symphony in Wellington. Since then, the work has had over 140 performances by the most prestigious orchestras in America.

His work with Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings trilogy stands as his best achievement, earning him three Academy Awards. He has also been honored with four Grammy and three Golden Globe awards. (http://www. howardshore. com/biography/) Howard Shore was born in Canada, October 18th, 1946. After studying music at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Shore started a music group called Lighthouse. He toured and recorded with them from 1969 to 1972. In 1975, after his run with Lighthouse, Shore became the Music Director at Saturday Night Live.


Sometimes, if you look closely, you could see him performing in some of the sketches. His trademark when writing his pieces are usually dark and ominous, composing music for Silence of the Lambs, LOTR, Hugo and the Twilight series. All of these scores have very deep, moving sounds. Howard Shore’s career started out on the set of Saturday Night Live. There he started composing music for movies but he was never really noticed. It was only after he teamed up with David Cronenberg that his music began catching the attention of colleagues and audience members.

This amazing tag team/ partnership between composer and director with Cronenberg produced film scores to twelve of his movies including The Fly, Naked Lunch and Eastern Promises. During the 80’s and 90’s, Howard Shore spent a lot of time composing for more films. Shore’s career and reputation catapulted to high levels after the turn of the new century. Then, starting in 2000, Howard Shore became a legend. The work he did with the The Lord of the Rings trilogy earned him two Oscars, two Golden Globes, and two Grammy awards. The soundtrack has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Shore’s score for The Aviator also earned him a Golden Globe in 2004. Second Composer: Hans Zimmer is a composer and keyboard synthesizer player who made pop music history then became one of the most successful film score composers. Being raised and educated mainly in England, he had no formal musical education. He actually only had two weeks of formal training. Even with no training, Zimmer took an early interest in synthesizers which made him the music legend that he is today. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, September 12, 1957, . He grew up playing piano endlessly.

He was introduced to the music of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach at an early age. He shunned formal lessons and is self taught and learned later from collaborating with other professionals and was mentored by Stanley Myers during his early career. Zimmer is known as one of Hollywood’s most innovative musical composers. He first enjoyed success in the world of pop music as a member of The Buggles. The group’s song Video Killed the Radio Star became a worldwide hit and helped bring in a new era of global entertainment as the first music video to be aired on MTV. (http://www. imdb. om/name/nm0001877/bio) Then, in 1988, Hans Zimmer’s career took a huge turning point. 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. The following year, Zimmer composed the score for another Best Picture Oscar recipient, Driving Miss Daisy. (http://www. imdb. com/name/nm0001877/bio) Already having scored two Best Picture winners, in the early 1990s, Zimmer finally proved his position as an amazing talent with the award-winning score for The Lion King.

The soundtrack has sold over 15 million copies to date and earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Score, a Golden Globe, an American Music Award, a Tony, and two Grammy Awards. In total, Zimmer’s work has been nominated for 7 Golden Globes, 7 Grammys and seven Oscars for Rain Man, Gladiator, The Lion King, As Good as It Gets, The Preacher’s Wife, The Thin Red Line, The Prince of Egypt and The Last Samurai. (http://www. imdb. com/name/nm0001877/bio) Both of these composers are prodigious, prestigious and legendary.

While both of them are great they are different in every way. Hans Zimmer is the type of composer that uses the elements from his character’s culture in the music. For example, in the Lion King he had a lot of tribal chants. He also likes to mix synthesizers with real instruments and soloists. Furthermore, he likes to use cello’s and acoustic/electric guitars. Howard Shore is more of a deep, loud, moving, emotional composer. Both of these composers will remain legends forever.

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