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Repertory Archive

Max Richter



Max Richter was born in Germany in 1966 and grew up in the United Kingdom. By his early teens he was listening to classical music as well as modern composers, including Philip Glass, whose sound was a major influence on him. The Clash, the Beatles and Pink Floyd were also important, along with the early electronic music scene. Inspired by artists such as Kraftwerk, Richter built his own analogue instruments. Richter studied composition and piano at Edinburgh University, the Royal Academy of Music and in Florence with Leonard Berio. He then became a founding member of the Piano Circus, a contemporary classical group that played works by Glass, Steve Reich, Arvo Part and Julia Wolfe, and also incorporated found sounds and video into their performances. Ten years and five albums later, Richter left the group and became more involved in the United Kingdom’s thriving electronica scene, collaborating with the Future Sound of London on Dead Cities, which features a track named for him, and Isness. He also contributed orchestrations to Roni Size’s In he Mode. Richter’s own work evolved from the Xeniakis-inspired music of his early days into something that included his electronic and pop influences: 2003’s Memoryhouse introduced his mix of modern composition, electronica and field recordings and the following year’s stunning Blue Notebooks, inspired by Kafka’s Blue Octavo Notebooks, showed a more streamlined and more affecting version of this sound.