SoundtrackNet's Dan Goldwasser learned that (according to his sources - which are quite reputable) a composer has been picked to score THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy for New Line Cinema.
That composer (a rather unconventional choice indeed) is:
Word is that he has been signed for all three pictures. We are trying to get more confirmation on this, and will keep you all posted.
We have been told by Howard Shore's office that "at this time [they] don't have any official information about Howard's upcoming projects".
Of course, that doesn't mean he's not signed or in negotiations to score it. It just means they aren't ready to admit anything yet.