“When I make music, I want to create an emotion – not an impression”

Christoph Zirngibl in conversation with Saskia Rienth:

Christoph Zirngibl is a German film composer, songwriter and musician who lives in Munich with his family.

He is a Music & Sound International Awards nominee and has been awarded several times, e.g. the Hollywood Music in Media Award (King Grandpa, 2017), the film music award of the New York Indie Film Festival (King Grandpa, 2018), the Jerry Goldsmith award “best composer” (2007) as well as the Price of the German Television Academy (Amnesie, 2016).

With his father being a multi-instrumentalist, Zirngibl was raised on music from an early age. He studied “Scoring for Film and TV” at the highly acclaimed University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich and earned his Master‘s degree in 2007. After a few weeks as a freshman, his Professor Andreas Weidinger asked him to become his assistant. They shared studio rooms and, since then have collaborated on many projects.

By now Zirngibl has written more than 80 scores for short films, prime time movies, feature films and TV series of various genres. Some of them were composed in collaboration with other renowned German composers such as Helmut Zerlett and Heiko Maile.

“I was only 13 years old, when I decided that I wanted to become a film music composer. It all started when I was watching Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park at the cinema. On the movie screen these dinosaurs came to life and the power, energy and emotional impact John Williams’ music had on me left me deeply impressed and made me feel like composing film music must be the best job in the world.”

Although Zirngibl has been composing many orchestral scores since the beginning of his career, his musical skills embrace a great diversity of styles: As a performer (drummer, piano player, upright bass player and vocalist) he has gained a lot of band experience in genres like psychedelic and hard rock, new country, folk, gospel, jazz, big band and symphonic brass music. „Part of my heart belongs to live music, so I actually do perform on my scores in the majority of cases.”

Zirngibl loves to combine the strengths of band music and orchestral music, so he regularly works with international session musicians like Giacomo Castellano, Luke Cyrus Goetze, Stephan Ebn or Deryn Cullen and with renowned orchestras such as the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg, the Warsaw Radio Symphony, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. “Music only really comes alive when being performed by people of flesh and blood. Therefore, despite the great possibilities of technology, I prefer to work with musicians if possible.”

True to his motto “When I make music, I want to create an emotion – not an impression”, Zirngibl’s philosophy is: “The origin of all music is emotion, and its authenticity makes the difference.”

IMDB – CREDITS
CREW UNITED – Credits

LATEST PROJECTS

THE MUSCLETEERS
dir.: Hubert Weiland / prod.: Caligari Filmproduktion
(animated series, 45x12min)

NEBEN DER SPUR / The Trace
dir.: Boss/Stennert, Thomas Berger,
Anno Saul, Josef Rusnak u.a.

prod.: Network Movie

(mini series, 8x90min)

DER AUFTRAG
dir.: Florian Baxmayer / prod.: Lucky Bird Pictures
(tv movie, ARD)

ANGST
dir.: Thomas Berger / prod.: Network Movie
(tv movie, ZDF)

Christoph Zirngibl is a German film composer, songwriter and musician who lives in Munich with his family.

He is a Music & Sound International Awards nominee and has been awarded several times, e.g. the Hollywood Music in Media Award (King Grandpa, 2017), the film music award of the New York Indie Film Festival (King Grandpa, 2018), the Jerry Goldsmith award “best composer” (2007) as well as the Price of the German Television Academy (Amnesie, 2016).

With his father being a multi-instrumentalist, Zirngibl was raised on music from an early age. He studied “Scoring for Film and TV” at the highly acclaimed University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich and earned his Master‘s degree in 2007. After a few weeks as a freshman, his Professor Andreas Weidinger asked him to become his assistant. They shared studio rooms and, since then have collaborated on many projects.

By now Zirngibl has written more than 80 scores for short films, prime time movies, feature films and TV series of various genres. Some of them were composed in collaboration with other renowned German composers such as Helmut Zerlett and Heiko Maile.

“I was only 13 years old, when I decided that I wanted to become a film music composer. It all started when I was watching Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park at the cinema. On the movie screen these dinosaurs came to life and the power, energy and emotional impact John Williams’ music had on me left me deeply impressed and made me feel like composing film music must be the best job in the world.”

Although Zirngibl has been composing many orchestral scores since the beginning of his career, his musical skills embrace a great diversity of styles: As a performer (drummer, piano player, upright bass player and vocalist) he has gained a lot of band experience in genres like psychedelic and hard rock, new country, folk, gospel, jazz, big band and symphonic brass music. „Part of my heart belongs to live music, so I actually do perform on my scores in the majority of cases.”

Zirngibl loves to combine the strengths of band music and orchestral music, so he regularly works with international session musicians like Giacomo Castellano, Luke Cyrus Goetze, Stephan Ebn or Deryn Cullen and with renowned orchestras such as the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg, the Warsaw Radio Symphony, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. “Music only really comes alive when being performed by people of flesh and blood. Therefore, despite the great possibilities of technology, I prefer to work with musicians if possible.”

True to his motto “When I make music, I want to create an emotion – not an impression”, Zirngibl’s philosophy is: “The origin of all music is emotion, and its authenticity makes the difference.”

Christoph Zirngibl in conversation with Saskia Rienth

LATEST PROJECTS

THE MUSCLETEERS
dir.: Hubert Weiland
prod.: Caligari Filmproduktion
(animated series, 45x12min)

NEBEN DER SPUR / The Trace
dir.: Boss/Stennert, Thomas Berger,
Anno Saul, Josef Rusnak u.a.
prod.: Network Movie
(mini series, 8x90min)

DER AUFTRAG
dir.: Florian Baxmayer
prod.: Lucky Bird Pictures
(tv movie, ARD)

ANGST
dir.: Thomas Berger
prod.: Network Movie
(tv movie, ZDF)

Credits on IMDB

Awards

WON

New York Indie Film Festival 2018
„best score“
KING GRANDPA / KÖNIG OPA

Hollywood Music in Media Awards 2017
„best score – short film (foreign language)“
KING GRANDPA / KÖNIG OPA

Price of the German TV Academy 2016
(Preis der Dt. Akademie für Fernsehen)

„best score“
NEBEN DER SPUR – AMNESIE

Action On Film Festival, Las Vegas 2009
„best score“
VICTORY DAY

Jerry Goldsmith Awards 2007
„best composer“

Jerry Goldsmith Awards 2007
„best score“
LETHE

German Filmmusic Newcomer Award 2006
(Dt. Filmmusiknachwuchspreis der
Franz-Grothe-Stiftung)

NOMINATED

Camille Awards / European Film Composer Awards 2021
„best orchestral score“
FINIS TERRAE

IFMCA Awards 2019
„breakthrough composer of the year“
„ best score for a documentary“
FINIS TERRAE

German Filmmusic Price 2019
„best score“
FINIS TERRAE

Movie Music UK Awards 2019
„best score for a documentary“
FINIS TERRAE

Jerry Goldsmith Awards 2019
„best score for a documentary“
FINIS TERRAE

MundoBSO Awards 2019
„best score for a documentary“
FINIS TERRAE

Music and Sound Awards 2015
„best original composition – title sequence“
UNHEIL IN DEN BERGEN

Gold Spirit Awards 2012
„best score for a comedy“
TRANS BAVARIA

Jerry Goldsmith Award 2010
„best score“
TRANSIT – AM ENDE DER STRAßE