BBC commissions piece from Hans Zimmer

BBC commissions piece from Hans Zimmer


norman lebrecht

March 04, 2019

message received:

BBC Music has announced the launch of Ten Pieces Trailblazers for the 19/20 academic year:

Hans Zimmer Earth BBC Ten Pieces commission
George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (excerpt)
Ravi Shankar Symphony, Finale (excerpt)
Delia Derbyshire Doctor Who Theme (original theme composed by Ron Grainer)
Antonio Vivaldi ‘Winter’ from ‘The Four Seasons’
Grażyna Bacewicz Overture
Steve Reich Music for 18 Musicians (excerpt)
Heitor Villa-Lobos Bachianas brasilieras No. 2, Little Train of the Caipira (finale)
Florence Price Symphony No. 1 in E Minor (3rd movement)
Johannes Brahms Hungarian Dance No.5

Zimmer says: ‘I am honoured to have been asked to create a piece for BBC Ten Pieces Trailblazers series. At the heart of my new piece, Earth is the sound of young voices who underlie the music. Set against the backdrop of our magnificent, precious planet, I hope it will be the perfect springboard to inspire creativity in classrooms across the UK.’



  • Harrumph says:


  • Andreas C. says:

    To my understanding, Mr Zimmer is a music producer, not a composer: he selects musical cues written by the legion of ghostwriters he employs, provides them with guidelines and makes adjustments to the general sound of the outcome, but he does not read or write scores. Why not commission concert music from someone who actually writes it for a living?

    • John Borstlap says:

      Because it’s too difficult; one needs to have musical discernment, erudition, knowledge of the art form, and one must have read my book.

    • Tommy says:

      Oh dear. Not bothered by facts then, just gossip?

      • Andreas C. says:

        Consider the IMDb listings for any of the films where Mr Zimmer is credited: There is practically always a mention of named or anonymous co-writers for ”additional music” and orchestrations, he has himself admitted to not reading scores very well and prefers working with sequencers. As any producer, Zimmer has a final say on the outcome of these productions, but it does not make him a composer in the same sense as some esteemed ”old guard” film composers are and were. It is likely that whatever comes out of this commission will be the work of ”Zimmer & co.”, with his ghostwriters actually taking care of turning the cues into something musicians can play.

      • Andreas C. says:

        And don’t get me wrong, I do know that employing orchestrators is standard operating procedure in the film industry due to schedule constraints even among composers who would be perfectly capable of orchestrating their own scores. Given all publicly available information, I find it highly questionable that Mr Zimmer would be, though.

        • Harrumph says:

          In Zimmer’s case it’s actually music-by-committee. This commission is absurd and bespeaks the cultural deterioration of the BBC.

      • Harrumph says:

        It’s hardly just “gossip”.

  • PHF says:

    “Earth is the sound of young voices who underlie the music. Set against the backdrop of our magnificent, precious planet” the most pseudo-romantic thing I’ve read in a while. That’s the kind of garbage media corporations love using to sell “culture” to the decadent bourgeois.

  • Anne says:

    I call bs

  • Nice to see Bacewicz recognized. The Overture is a wonderful piece

  • Harrumph says:

    “Dr. Who Theme”? Really?