Max Richter

Max Richter

Richter performing at ATP Festival in 2015
Background information
Born (1966-03-22) 22 March 1966
Hamelin, Lower Saxony, Germany
Origin London, England
  • Composer
  • pianist
  • producer
  • Piano
  • organ
  • synthesizer
Years active 1994–present
Associated acts Piano Circus

Max Richter (born 22 March 1966) is a German-born British composer who has been an influential voice in post-minimalist composition and in the meeting of contemporary classical and alternative popular musical styles since the early 2000s.[1][2][3][4] Richter is classically trained, having graduated in composition from the Royal Academy of Music and studied with Luciano Berio in Italy,[5] and is also strongly influenced by punk and electronic music.[6]

Richter is known for his prolific output,[7][8] composing and recording his own music; writing for stage, opera, ballet and screen; producing and collaborating on the records of others; and collaborating with performance, installation and media artists. He has recorded seven solo albums and his music is widely used in cinema.

Early life and career

Richter was born in Hamelin, Lower Saxony, Germany. He grew up in the United Kingdom, in the county town of Bedford, where he was educated at Bedford Modern School.[9][10] After school he studied composition and piano at the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Academy of Music, and with Luciano Berio in Florence.[11][12] After finishing his studies, Richter co-founded the contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus.[13] He stayed with the group for ten years, commissioning and performing works by minimalist musicians such as Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, and Steve Reich. The ensemble was signed to Decca/Argo, producing five albums.

In 1996, Richter collaborated with Future Sound of London on their album Dead Cities, beginning as a pianist, but ultimately working on several tracks, as well as co-writing one track (titled Max). Richter subsequently worked with the band over a period of two years, also contributing to the albums The Isness and The Peppermint Tree and Seeds of Superconsciousness. In 2000, Richter worked with Mercury Prize winner Roni Size on the Reprazent album In the Møde. Richter produced Vashti Bunyan's 2005 album Lookaftering[14] and Kelli Ali's 2008 album Rocking Horse.[15]

Solo work

Memoryhouse (2002)

Considered a “landmark work of contemporary classical music",[16] Max Richter's solo debut Memoryhouse, an experimental album of "documentary music" recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, explores real and imaginary stories and histories.[17] It combines ambient sounds, voices, and poetry readings and includes the tracks "Sarajevo", "November" and "Last Days". BBC Music described the album as "a masterpiece in neoclassical composition."[18] Memoryhouse was first played live by Richter at the Barbican Centre on 24 January 2014 to coincide with a vinyl re-release of the album. Pitchfork gave the re-release an 8.7 rating, commenting on its extensive influence "In 2002, Richter’s ability to weave subtle electronics against the grand BBC Philharmonic Orchestra helped suggest new possibilities and locate fresh audiences that composers such as Nico Muhly and Michał Jacaszek have since pursued. As you listen to new work by Julianna Barwick or Jóhann Jóhannsson, thank Richter; just as Sigur Rós did with its widescreen rock, Richter showed that crossover wasn't necessarily an artistic curse".[19]

The Blue Notebooks (2004)

On his second album The Blue Notebooks, released in 2004, actress Tilda Swinton reads from Kafka's Blue Octavo and other shadow journals.[20] Pitchfork described the album as "Not only the finest record of the last six months, but one of the most affecting and universal contemporary classical records in recent memory."[21] To mark the 10th anniversary of its release, Richter created a track by track commentary for Drowned in Sound, in which he described the album as a series of interconnected dreams and an exploration of the chasm between lived experience and imagination.[22]

Songs from Before (2006)

In 2006, he released his third solo album, Songs from Before, which features Robert Wyatt reading texts by Haruki Murakami.[23]

24 Postcards in Full Colour (2008)

Richter released his fourth solo album 24 Postcards in Full Colour, a collection of 24 classically composed miniatures for ringtones, in 2008.[24] The pieces are a series of variations on the basic material, scored for strings, piano, and electronics.

Infra (2010)

Richter's 2010 album, Infra, is an extension of his 25-minute score for a ballet choreographed by Wayne McGregor and staged at the Royal Opera House.[25] Infra is composed of music written for piano, electronics and string quintet, the full performance score, as well as material that subsequently developed from the construction of the album.[26] Pitchfork described the album as "achingly gorgeous"[27] and The Independent newspaper characterised Infra as "a journey in 13 episodes, emerging from a blur of static and finding its way in a repeated phrase that grows in loveliness."[28]

Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (2012)

Richter’s recomposed version of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, was premiered in the UK at the Barbican Centre on 31 October 2012, performed by the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by André de Ridder and with violinist Daniel Hope.[29] Although Richter said that he had discarded 75% of Vivaldi's original material,[30] the parts he does use are phased and looped, emphasising his grounding in postmodern and minimalist music.[31] The album topped the iTunes classical chart in the UK, Germany and the US.[32] The US launch concert in New York at Le Poisson Rouge was recorded by NPR and streamed.[33]

Sleep (2015)

Richter has described his 2015 album Sleep as an eight-hour-long cradle song. It was released in downloadable form and on CD and vinyl as a one-hour excerpt entitled from Sleep. The work was strongly influenced by Gustav Mahler's symphonic works.[34]

The entire composition was performed on September 27, 2015, from midnight to 8:00 A.M. as the climax of the "Science and Music" weekend on BBC 3.[35] The performance broke several records, including the longest live broadcast of a single musical composition in the history of the network.[36]

Film and television work

Richter has composed numerous film soundtracks. He executed the score to Ari Folman's Golden Globe-winning film Waltz with Bashir in 2007,[37] supplanting the standard orchestral soundtrack with synth-based sounds. Max Richter also composed music for the independent feature film Henry May Long, starring Randy Sharp and Brian Barnhart, in 2008. Richter wrote the music for Feo Aladag's film Die Fremde (with additional music by Stéphane Moucha).[38]

In 2010 Dinah Washington's This Bitter Earth was remixed with Richter's On the Nature of Daylight for the Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island.[39] In July 2010, On the Nature of Daylight and Vladimir's Blues featured throughout the BBC Two two-part drama Dive, which was co-written by BAFTA-winning Dominic Savage and Simon Stevens. On the Nature of Daylight was also featured in an episode of HBO's television series Luck.[40] Four tracks—"Europe, After the Rain", "The Twins (Prague)", "Fragment", and "Embers"—were used in the six-part 2005 BBC documentary Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution produced by Laurence Rees.[41] Richter also wrote the soundtrack to Peter Richardson's documentary, How to Die in Oregon,[42] and the score to Impardonnables (2011) directed by André Téchiné.[43]

An excerpt of the song Sarajevo from his 2002 album Memoryhouse was used in the international trailer for the Ridley Scott film Prometheus. The track, November, from the same album, was featured in the international trailer for Terrence Malick's 2012 film, To the Wonder, and in the trailer for Clint Eastwood's 2011 film, J. Edgar. Films featuring Richter's music released in 2011 include French drama Elle s'appelait Sarah by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, and David MacKenzie's romantic thriller Perfect Sense. In 2012 he composed the scores for Cate Shortland's 2012 Australian-German war thriller Lore and Disconnect, directed by Henry Alex Rubin. Richter latest project is the score to Ari Folman's new film The Congress, which was released in 2013.

Richter is also the composer of the original soundtrack for the HBO series The Leftovers created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, which was premiered in June 2014. Some of the compositions are included in the albums Memoryhouse and The Blue Notebooks.[44]

Ballet, opera and stage works

Richter wrote the score to Infra as part of a Royal Ballet-commissioned collaboration with dancer Wayne McGregor and artist Julian Opie. The production was staged at the Royal Opera House in London in 2008. In 2011, Richter composed a chamber opera based on neuroscientist David Eagleman's book Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives. The opera was choreographed by Wayne McGregor and premiered at the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre in 2012. The piece received positive reviews, with London's Evening Standard saying "[it] fits together rather beautifully".[45] Their collaboration continued in April 2014 with Wayne McGregor's 'Kairos'; a ballet set to Richter's recomposition of the Four Seasons and part of a collaborative program involving three different choreographers titled 'Notations' with Ballett Zürich.[46] In April 2014 it was also announced that Richter and McGregor will collaborate again together on a new full-length ballet for summer 2015, as part of the 2014–15 Royal Opera House season.[47] In 2012/13, Richter contributed music to The National Theatre of Scotland's production of Macbeth, starring Alan Cumming. The play opened at New York's Lincoln Centre and subsequently moved to Broadway.[48] The company had previously used Richter's 'Last Days' in their acclaimed production of Black Watch.

Other collaborations

In 2010, Richter's soundscape The Anthropocine formed part of Darren Almond's film installation at the White Cube gallery in London. The composer has also collaborated with digital art collective Random International on two projects, contributing scores to the installations Future Self (2012),[49] staged at the MADE space in Berlin, and Rain Room (2012/13) at London's Barbican Centre[50] and MOMA, New York.[51]

Solo discography

Studio albums
Album Year
Memoryhouse 2002
The Blue Notebooks 2004
Songs from Before 2006
24 Postcards in Full Colour 2008
Infra 2010
Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons 2012
Sleep 2015

Film scores

Film Year Director Notes
Gender Trouble 2003 Roz Mortimer
Geheime Geschichten 2003 Christine Wiegand
Soundproof 2006 Edmund Coulthard
Work 2006 Jim Hosking
Butterfly 2007 Tracey Gardiner
Hope 2007 Stanislaw Mucha
Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me 2008 John Alexander
Henry May Long 2008 Randy Sharp
Waltz with Bashir
(Vals Im Bashir)
2008 Ari Folman Won "Best Composer" at the 21st Annual European Awards
Lost and Found 2008 Philip Hunt
2009 Ben Ferris
La vie sauvage des animaux domestiques
(Die wilde Farm)
2009 Dominique Garing & Frédéric Goupil
The Front Line
(La prima linea)
2009 Renato De Maria
My Words, My Lies – My Love
(Lila, Lila)
2009 Alain Gsponer
When We Leave
(Die Fremde)
2010 Feo Aladağ With Stéphane Moucha
My Trip to Al-Qaeda 2010 Alex Gibney
Womb 2010 Benedek Fliegauf
Sarah's Key
(Elle s'appelait Sarah)
2010 Gilles Paquet-Brenner
The Gift 2010 Andrew Griffin With Hildur Guðnadóttir
How to Die in Oregon 2010 Peter D. Richardson
Perfect Sense 2011 David Mackenzie
Unforgivable 2011 André Téchiné
Nach der Stille 2011 Stephanie Bürger, Jule Ott
& Manal Abdallah
With Sven Kaiser
Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster 2011 Nathan Morlando
Jiro Dreams of Sushi 2011 David Gelb With Jiro Ono
The Patience Stone/Syngue Sabour 2012 Atiq Rahimi
Spanien 2012 Anja Salomonowitz
Lore 2012 Cate Shortland
Wadjda 2012 Haifaa Al-Mansour
Disconnect 2012 Henry-Alex Rubin
The Nun 2013 Guillaume Nicloux
The Congress 2013 Ari Folman
The Lunchbox 2013 Ritesh Batra
The Last Days on Mars 2013 Ruairí Robinson
The Mark of the Angels – Miserere 2013 Sylvain White
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall 2013 Edgar Barens
The Green Prince 2014 Nadav Schirman
96 hours 2014 Frédéric Schoendoerffer
Escobar: Paradise Lost 2014 Andrea Di Stefano
Testament of Youth 2014 James Kent
The Leftovers (TV series) 2014 Damon Lindelof, Tom Perrotta (Showrunners)
Into the Forest 2015 Patricia Rozema
Morgan 2016 Luke Scott
Black Mirror (TV series) 2016 Joe Wright Episode "Nosedive"
Arrival 2016 Denis Villeneuve

Awards and nominations


  1. "Composer Richter on Virginia Woolf inspired ballet". BBC NEWS. BBC NEWS. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  2. Currin, Grayson. "Max Richter Memoryhouse". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  3. Falcone, Jon. "Max Richter Discusses Revisiting Memoryhouse". Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  4. Joy, Sarah. "Max Richter: "I just love handling sound. It's what gets me out of bed in the mornings"". The Line Of Best Fit. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  5. "Max Richter Bio". FatCat Records. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  6. Tingen, Paul. "Max Richter: Recording The Blue Notebooks". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  7. "Crack Magazine". Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  8. Ilic, Vel. "The Quietus PREVIEW: Max Richter". Retrieved 15 October 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  9. Who’s Who 2016. Published by A&C Black Limited, 2016
  10. The Australian, 22 November 2014
  11. "Max Richter". FatCat Records. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  12. "Max Richetr biography". Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  13. Mark Pappenheim (24 November 1993). "MUSIC / Many hands make light work". London: The Independent. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  14. Adam Park (11 October 2006). "The Richter Scale". Boomkat. Archived from the original on 13 September 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  15. "Biography Kelli Ali". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  16. Gill, Any. "Album reviews: John Sheppard, Max Richter, Les Vents Francais". The Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  17. "Max Richter Memoryhouse". Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  18. "Max Richter Recording The Blue Notebooks/".
  19. Currin, Grayson. "Max Richter : Memoryhouse". Album Review. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  20. Paul Tingen (January 2005). "Max Richter Recording The Blue Notebooks". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  21. Mark Pytlik (July 1, 2004). "Max Richter: The Blue Notebooks". Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  22. Cleeve, Sam. "Max Richter on The Blue Notebooks: A Track-by-Track Guide". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  23. "SONGS FROM BEFORE • Max Richter". Puremusic. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  24. Michael Crumsho (22 October 2008). "Max Richter – "Berlin By Overnight" (24 Postcards in Full Colour)". Dusted Magazine. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  25. Gilbert, Jenny (16 November 2008). "Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London Rambert Dance Company, Sadler's Wells, London". The Independent. London.
  26. Walby, Sam (21 July 2010). "Album Review: Max Richter – Infra / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  27. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. Pritchard, Claudia (8 August 2010). "Album: Max Richter, Infra (Fat Cat Records)". The Independent. London.
  29. "Max Richter: Vivaldi Recomposed". 31 October 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  30. "Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons". Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  31. Tania Halban (28 November 2012). "Recomposed or refragmented?". Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  32. "RECOMPOSED | Chart-Erfolg für Max Richters "Vivaldi Recomposed" in den USA | News". Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  33. "Max Richter In Concert: Reimagining Vivaldi". 7 February 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  34. "Description | Beschreibung von Max Richters Sleep". Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  35. Sinfini Music - Latest: Music and the brain
  36. The New Yorker: Music to Sleep By
  37. "Richter's Scale: Scoring 'Waltz With Bashir' | Art Beat | PBS NewsHour". PBS. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  39. "A Life in the Mind: With "Shutter Island," Scorsese goes for baroque (review)". Newcity Film. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  40. "Luck: Season 1 Episode 4: Music". HBO. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  42. "Joshua Reviews Peter Richardson's How To Die in Oregon [SXSW 2011 Review]". CriterionCast. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  43. ""Unforgivable" von André Téchiné | Cannes 2011 | Film | de – ARTE". Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  44. "Max Richter to Score HBO's The Leftovers".
  45. Kieron Quirke (24 May 2012). "Sum, Royal Opera House – review – Music – Going Out – London Evening Standard". Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  46. "Dance Festival Steps". Notations. Migros Culture Percentage.
  47. Sulcas, Rosalyn. "Virginia Woolf Ballet and New Philip Glass Work Highlight Royal Opera House Season". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  48. Isherwood, Charles (21 April 2013). "'Macbeth,' With Alan Cumming at the Barrymore Theater". The New York Times.
  49. "rAndom international: future self at MADE space, berlin". Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  50. Wainwright, Oliver (3 October 2012). "Art (visual arts only),Art and design,Barbican,Culture,Science,UK news". The Guardian. London.
  51. Brooks, Katherine (11 June 2013). "WATCH: Inside The Rain Room". Huffington Post.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.