Hans Zimmer is now a co-owner of Maida Vale Studios, the legendary recording space that the BBC has owned and operated since the 1930s. In 2018, the broadcaster announced that they had plans to close the studios. The property went on sale last fall for £10.5 million (approx. $13.3 million); a final purchase price was not disclosed. Zimmer is part of a partnership that purchased the studios alongside his business partner Steven Kofsky, and Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, the chairmen of the film studio Working Title.
The building that houses Maida Vale Studios first opened as an ice skating rink in 1909. The BBC purchased the building in the early ’30s and rebuilt it into recording studios. It has been home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 1934, and it was the site of numerous sessions for BBC productions. John Peel’s sessions were recorded in the studios. Over the years, artists that have utilized Maida Vale Studios include the Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and many, many more.
The purchasers intend to keep Maida Vale Studios as a recording space, and a multi-million pound plan is in place for refurbishment, which will also involve a non-profit educational facility.
“The first time I worked for the BBC at their Maida Vale Studios was 45 years ago,” Zimmer said in a statement. “I was just a kid, in awe, honoured to be booked to play on one of my first sessions. I still remember the strong pull, the desire to touch the walls, as if that would somehow allow me to connect to the artists whose extraordinary music had resonated against these walls on a daily basis.”
This was a place of revolutionary science in the service of art, this was a place that inspired you to give your best, where music was performed around the clock and art was taken seriously. For the people by the people. This was the place that kept a struggling musician like me from giving up.
At the same time, Tim, Eric and I started working together, making our first movies. Movies not only made in Britain with the greatest talent the country had – and still has – to offer, but movies that often provoked and had something to say about a changing Britain; that gave voice to our generation. Usually by making you laugh. My work with Working Title gave me my career in Hollywood, where Steve Kofsky became my partner, and he and I made sure to drag the work from as many Hollywood films as possible back to Britain. So now I want to close the circle: make Maida Vale Studios a place that inspires, teaches, technologically serves the arts and humanity, and gives the next generation the same opportunities I was given: to create and to never give up.
BBC plans to move the operations that currently take place in Maida Vale to a new studio in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.