Richter performing at ATP Festival in 2015
22 March 1966 |
Hamelin, Lower Saxony, West Germany
|Associated acts||Piano Circus|
Max Richter (born 22 March 1966) is a West 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. Richter is classically trained, having graduated in composition from the Royal Academy of Music and studied with Luciano Berio in Italy.
Richter is known for his prolific output: 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 eight solo albums and his music is widely used in cinema.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Solo work
- 3 Film and television work
- 4 Ballet, opera and stage works
- 5 Other collaborations
- 6 Solo discography
- 7 Film scores
- 8 Awards and nominations
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early life and career
Richter was born in Hamelin, Lower Saxony, West Germany. He grew up in Bedford, United Kingdom, and his education was at Bedford Modern School and Mander College of Further Education. He studied composition and piano at the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Academy of Music, and with Luciano Berio in Florence. After finishing his studies, Richter co-founded the contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus. 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 worked with the band for 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 and Kelli Ali's 2008 album Rocking Horse.
Richter’s solo albums include:
Considered a “landmark work of contemporary classical music", 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. Several of the tracks, such as "Sarajevo", "November", "Arbenita", and "Last Days", deal with the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict, while others are of childhood memories e.g. "Laika's Journey". The music combines ambient sounds, voices (including that of John Cage), and poetry readings from the work of Marina Tsvetaeva. BBC Music described the album as "a masterpiece in neoclassical composition." 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.
The Blue Notebooks (2004)
On Richter's second album, The Blue Notebooks, released in 2004, the actress Tilda Swinton reads from Kafka's The Blue Octavo Notebooks and the work of Czesław Miłosz. Richter has stated that The Blue Notebooks is a protest album about the Iraq War, as well as a meditation on his own troubled childhood. Pitchfork described the album as "Not only one of the finest record of the last six months, but one of the most affecting and universal contemporary classical records in recent memory." 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. The second track, "On the Nature of Daylight", is used in both the opening and closing sequences of the sci-fi film Arrival.
Songs from Before (2006)
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. The pieces are a series of variations on the basic material, scored for strings, piano, and electronics.
Richter's 2010 album Infra takes as its central theme the 2005 terrorist bombings in London, and is an extension of his 25-minute score for a ballet of the same name choreographed by Wayne McGregor and staged at the Royal Opera House. Infra comprises music written for piano, electronics and string quintet, plus the full performance score and material that subsequently developed from the construction of the album. Pitchfork described the album as "achingly gorgeous" and The Independent newspaper characterised it as "a journey in 13 episodes, emerging from a blur of static and finding its way in a repeated phrase that grows in loveliness."
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. Although Richter said that he had discarded 75% of Vivaldi's original material, the parts he does use are phased and looped, emphasising his grounding in postmodern and minimalist music. The album topped the iTunes classical chart in the UK, Germany and the US. The US launch concert in New York at Le Poisson Rouge was recorded by NPR and streamed.
Sleep and From Sleep (2015)
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. The performance broke several records, including the longest live broadcast of a single musical composition in the history of the network.
Richter also released From Sleep, a one-hour album intended to be listened to while awake, contrary to Sleep, which he intended to be heard while asleep.
The full-length Sleep has been played live by Richter at the Concertgebouw (Grote Zaal) Amsterdam; the Sydney Opera House; in Berlin (as part of Berliner Festspiele's Maerz Musik Festival), in Madrid (as part of Veramos de la Villa) and in London (at the Barbican). In November 2017 Sleep will be played at the Philharmonie de Paris.
Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works (2017)
Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works is Max Richter’s eighth album, released in January 2017. The music is taken from the score that Richter composed for the ballet Woolf Works in collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor at the Royal Opera House in London. The work follows a three-part structure offering evocations of three books by Woolf (Mrs Dalloway, Orlando, and The Waves). The album features classical and electronic sound as well as an original voice recording of Virginia Woolf herself.
Film and television work
Max Richter has created numerous film and television soundtracks over the years. He rose to prominence with his score to Ari Folman's Golden Globe-winning film Waltz with Bashir in 2007, in which he supplanted a standard orchestral soundtrack with synth-based sounds and winning him the European Film Award for Best Composer. He also scored the independent feature film Henry May Long, starring Randy Sharp and Brian Barnhart, in 2008, and wrote the music for Feo Aladag's film Die Fremde (with additional music by Stéphane Moucha).
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. In July 2010, "On the Nature of Daylight" and "Vladimir's Blues" were 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. 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. Richter also wrote the soundtrack to Peter Richardson's documentary, How to Die in Oregon, and the score to Impardonnables (2011) directed by André Téchiné.
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 Sarah's Key by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, and David MacKenzie's romantic thriller Perfect Sense. In 2012 he composed the scores for Henry Alex Rubin's Disconnect, and Cate Shortland's Australian-German war thriller Lore. Richter again collaborated with Folman on 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 these compositions are included in the albums Memoryhouse and The Blue Notebooks.
In 2016, Richter composed the score to "Nosedive", an episode of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror. Also that year, he scored Luke Scott's debut feature Morgan and the political thriller Miss Sloane, while his piece "On the Nature of Daylight" opened and closed Denis Villeneuve's film Arrival. He composed all the music in BBC One's drama Taboo which was broadcast in January and February 2017.
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". 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. 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. 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. The company had previously used Richter's 'Last Days' in their acclaimed production of Black Watch.
In 2010, Richter's soundscape The Anthropocene 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), staged at the MADE space in Berlin, and Rain Room (2012/13) at London's Barbican Centre and MOMA, in New York.
|The Blue Notebooks||
|Songs from Before||
|24 Postcards in Full Colour||
|Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons||
|Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works||
|Gender Trouble||2003||Roz Mortimer|
|Geheime Geschichten||2003||Christine Wiegand|
|Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me||2008||John Alexander|
|Henry May Long||2008||Randy Sharp||Available on Digital|
|Waltz with Bashir
(Vals Im Bashir)
|Lost and Found||2008||Philip Hunt|
|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
|When We Leave
|2010||Feo Aladağ||With Stéphane Moucha.|
|My Trip to Al-Qaeda||2010||Alex Gibney|
(Elle s'appelait Sarah)
|The Gift||2010||Andrew Griffin||With Hildur Guðnadóttir and Keith Kenniff (Goldmund)|
|How to Die in Oregon||2010||Peter D. Richardson|
|Perfect Sense||2011||David Mackenzie|
|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|
|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 (executive producers)|
|Into the Forest||2015||Patricia Rozema|
|Black Mirror (TV series)||2016||Joe Wright||Episode "Nosedive".|
|Arrival||2016||Denis Villeneuve||"On the Nature of Daylight" used as a theme. Score by Jóhann Jóhannsson.|
|Miss Sloane||2016||John Madden|
|Taboo (TV series)||2017||Kristoffer Nyholm, Anders Engström|
|Return to Montauk||2017||Volker Schlöndorff|
|The Sense of an Ending||2017||Ritesh Batra|
|One Last Time, I Promise (Short film)||2017||Amir Emadian|
|Guerrilla (TV series)||2017||John Ridley, Sam Miller|
Awards and nominations
|2008||Long Island International Film Expo||Triple Play Award for Best Technical Integration||Henry May Long (shared with Ben Wolf and Eric Friedewald)||Won|
|Park City Film Music Festival||Silver Medal for Excellence||Henry May Long (shared with Paul Carbonara, Annette Kudrak and Randy Sharp)||Won|
|ReelHeART International Film Festival||Best Sound||Henry May Long (shared with Annette Kudrak)||Won|
|European Film Award||Best Composer||Waltz with Bashir||Won|
|International Film Music Critics Award||Best Original Score for an Animated Feature Film||Nominated|||
|Breakthrough Film Composer of the Year||Nominated|
|2009||Annie Awards||Best Music in an Animated Feature Production||Nominated|||
|Cinema Eye Honors||Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition||Won|
|2010||German Critics Association Awards||Best Music||Die Fremde||Won|
|2012||Stockholm International Film Festival||Best Music Score||Lore||Won|||
|2013||Australian Film Critics Association Awards||Best Music Score||Nominated|
|Bavarian Film Awards||Best Music||Won|
|Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards||Best Music Score||Nominated|
|German Film Awards||Best Film Score||Nominated|
|2014||Hollywood Music in Media Awards||Best Main Title - TV Show/Digital Streaming Series||The Leftovers||Won|||
|International Film Music Critics Award||Best Original Score for a Television Series||Nominated|||
|2015||Grammy Awards||Best Music Video||The Golden Age – Woodkid feat. Max Richter||Nominated|||
|2016||Evening Standard British Film Awards||Technical Achievement||Arrival||Won|||
|2017||69th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Music Composition For A Series||Taboo||Nominated|||
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- Smith, Sid. "Infra, A powerful response to the London bombings". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
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- "Max Richter In Concert: Reimagining Vivaldi". 7 February 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
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- "Sinfinimusic - Deutsche Grammophon". www.sinfinimusic.com.
- Crawford, Anwen (12 October 2015). "Music to Sleep By" – via www.newyorker.com.
- Sleep liner notes: The complete version of SLEEP is an eight-hour work, intended to be heard – experienced – in one sitting, from start to finish, while the listener is asleep. Conversely, the one-hour recording, from SLEEP, is designed to be listened to while awake. "They are two separate objects." explains Richter.
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- "Max Richter / Stéphane Moucha - Die Fremde (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
- "A Life in the Mind: With "Shutter Island," Scorsese goes for baroque (review)". Newcity Film. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
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