• 1941 – 1948

    studied at the Bratislava Conservatory (composition – Eugen Suchoň, organ – Jozef Weber, piano – Anna Kafendová)

  • 1948 – 1949

    studied composition at the Budapest Music Academy with Ferenc Farkas and in Salzburg

  • 1948 – 1952

    taught theory and the piano at the Bratislava Conservatory

  • since 1952

    dedicated himself exclusively to composition and occasionally to concert activity as pianist

"The piano held the dominant position in his compositions, and this was also reflected in the number of works for this instrument which he himself premiered as pianist. Another area of his composition was symphonic work. But he was also involved in composing for organ, vocal and choral work; he wrote film music; he had chamber and operatic works to his credit. His predisposition for orchestral work came not only from his gift for excellent preparation but equally from his sense of the work’s structure, formal precision, and psychological and dramatic conviction.  Zimmer’s music is inventive, rich in thought, instrumentally diverse. The impulsiveness of his nature is reflected in the work itself. This composer was (in music and in personal life) decisive in his opinions, principled and precise. Undoubtedly this was partly a reaction to social and political influences which did not allow the artist sufficient creative freedom. Being a good psychologist, he managed to have a feeling for the world of children, which was reflected in the popularity of his work in music training. Zimmer passed through an interesting development. In his works we find elements of neo-baroque as well as later compositional expressions, going as far as twelve-tone technique, although he never was the experimentalist type."

(BACHLEDA, Stanislav: Ján Zimmer. In: A Hundred Slovak Composers. Eds. Marián Jurík, Peter Zagar. Bratislava : National Music Centre Slovakia, 1998, p. 298.)