The German born composer has been scoring American films since 1988's Rain Man, though his collaborations with Nolan on Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Inception seem likely to eclipse even his work with Ridley Scott, where his rousing score for Gladiator captured the imagination of the movie-going public.
It's difficult to pin down exactly what makes a great film score; too noticeable and it's intrusive and jarring, too subtle and it's bland. Yet when it can personify a character - John Williams' music for Jaws is the shark - or become the emotional landscape of a film - as with Gladiator - it's irreplaceable. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are both exceptional films, though neither would register as deeply without Zimmer's signature sound.
Since the year 2000 Zimmer has scored over forty films and is anything but formulaic; he's employed traditional orchestra arrangements, African choirs and electronica to produce his work, and his influence can frequently be detected in other composers work.
This weekend he is in the UK performing at a concert of his music in Althorp Park...