Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer stopped a concert at London’s O2 Arena this week to highlight a moment of beauty amid the ongoing terror on the streets of Ukraine.
His “Hans Zimmer Live” European tour is a dynamic presentation of his award-winning scores for films such as No Time to Die, Sherlock Holmes and Dune, for which he received an Oscar nomination this year.
But it was Zimmer’s presentation of his song “Time” from Inception that may have provided the most powerful moment. The composer showed the audience a video posted earlier this week of a musician from Lviv named Alex who, playing “Time” on his piano for a crowd on the street, refused to stop when the air raid sirens began wailing.
Hans Zimmer interrupted a live concert in London last night to show a video of a Ukrainian pianist playing ‘Time’, amid air raid sirens. 23 March 2022. pic.twitter.com/QWNNn9fDu3
— Classic FM (@ClassicFM) March 24, 2022
The moment was captured by National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer, who described what he witnessed when he posted the footage on Instagram.
“When bomb sirens began, police asked everyone to move inside the railway station,” wrote Stanmeyer. “Alex @alexpian_official wouldn’t stop, playing his piano louder against the air raid warning. His friend joined with the most calming pink nails. A simple, overwhelming one-minute passion against fear, against war…He went on and on, never letting go.”
You can watch the video below.
Alex refused to stop playing the piano, DEFIANTLY playing louder against the soaring bomb sirens in #Ukraine, as an “inner protest to sirens, bombs, murders, war!”✊
Moved me to tears…🥺
🎶’Time’- Inception by Hans Zimmer
— 🇺🇦 Glory to Ukraine-Glory to the Heroes 🇺🇦 (@jenmarie410) March 22, 2022
It was not Zimmer’s only acknowledgement of Ukraine and its musicians during the long-aborning show. The composer got emotional when he introduced the Ukrainian members of his ensemble.
“When Covid stopped us from coming here 885 days ago, we booked our orchestra from the Ukraine, from Odessa, and we only managed to get 10 people out…So just welcome them,” he said. The audience, bathed in yellow and blue lights reflecting those of Ukraine’s flag, erupted in a standing ovation.
Hans Zimmer. Wow. If you get the opportunity, take it👏 pic.twitter.com/a80lDDqO4W
— Dan Martin (@dantalksmoney) March 24, 2022
Zimmer was not done.
“One of the things which I thought was remarkable about the people that we did bring back out of the Ukraine, that were left behind from the orchestra, it was a lot of women,” he said. “They taught me who the real wonder women are and so I would like to celebrate them with this little ditty called ‘Wonder Woman.’ ”
The musicians then jumped into the pounding drums and screaming strings of the theme for Wonder Woman from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, “Is She With You?”