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Max Richter - composer for film and television

Max Richter Max Richter was born in Germany and studied music at Edinburgh University and elsewhere. Upon graduation, Richter was a member of the original "Piano Circus" which is a group of 6 pianists originally formed to play Steve Reich's work called "Six Pianos". The group takes its name for the circular arrangement of its pianos and has developed a significant international audience since its formation in 1989 releasing several albums. Richter stayed and toured with the group for its first decade during which time it commissioned and/or played works by an extensive list of avant garde composers including Terry Riley, Arvo Pärt, Michael Nyman, Brian Eno and Philip Glass. As a solo composer Richter has now produced 4 albums called "Memory House", "The Blue Notebooks", "Songs from Before" and "24 Postcards In Full Colour". A number of tracks from these ablums have been picked up and used on the soundtracks for various films, including "Cocaine Angel", "Stranger than Fiction", "Elegy" and most recently "Shutter Island".

Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi The Four Seasons - album CD cover In addition to this Richter has also been asked to create original music for films and television. The animated film Waltz with Bashir, written and directed by Ari Folman, has garnered excellent reviews and propelled both Folman and Richter as score composer into the limelight. The two men have since collaborated on other projects including another animation "The Congress". Richter was commissioned to create a work for The Royal Ballet with choreographer Wayne Macgregor, and that has resulted in the ballet "Infra" which has now been premiered with more performances to follow. One of the composer's recent projects was Vivaldi's Four Seasons Recomposed which you can hear at this link on Soundcloud starting from the intro called "Spring 0". The album is available at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

Max Richter: Mary Queen of Scots - album CD cover The composer has since worked on 2 Sci-Fi movies among others: "The Last Days on Mars" and "The Congress" (or "Le Congres") which is another animation for Ari Folman based upon a novel by Stanislaw Lem. Between the film projects Max Richter's concert piece "Sleep" set world records when broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, as the work is designed to put its audience to sleep over a duration of 8 hours! "Hostiles" in 2017 is a stark modern Western with a suitably intense score given the film's emotionally seering content. By contrast "Mary Queen of Scots" in 2018 is more regal in nature, featuring as its main theme a Nymanesque version of the arpeggio introduction from Handel's "Zadok the Priest". So the music gives a period impression without being historically accurate, but it does include the Tudor period motet "If Ye Love Me" by Thomas Tallis which has also been used on recent Royal occasions. This album can be found at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

Also check out this article by John Caps where he shares some thoughts about Max Richter's style across his film scores and concert music.

Film music by Max Richter:

    Max Richter: Waltz with Bashir - soundtrack CD cover
  • Gender Trouble - short film
  • Cocaine Angel - a number of Richter's tracks were used on this film about addiction
  • Work - short film
  • Stranger than Fiction - this film starring Will Ferrell included Richter's "On The Nature Of Daylight" and "Horizon Variations" on the soundtrack
  • Nadzieja ("Hope") - a full composer credit for this German/Polish produced film by Stanislaw Mucha
  • Henry May Long
  • Waltz with Bashir (Valse avec Bachir) - for Ari Folman
  • Penelope
  • Max Richter: Disconnect - soundtrack CD cover
  • The Front Line
  • My Words, My Lies - My Love
  • Womb
  • Sarah's Key
  • Perfect Sense
  • Unforgivable
  • Citizen Gangster
  • Lore
  • Wadjda - set in Saudi Arabia
  • Shutter Island - Richter's track "On The Nature Of Daylight" features on the movie's soundtrack, in addition to a remix with Dinah Washington's "This Bitter Earth"
  • Max Richter: Memoryhouse album CD cover
  • Disconnect
  • The Patience Stone - a credit for the "theme music"
  • The Nun
  • The Congress - animation adapted (by director Ari Folman) from a novel by Stanislaw Lem
  • The Lunchbox
  • The Last Days on Mars
  • La marque des anges - Miserere
  • Escobar: Paradise Lost
  • Morgan
  • Arrival - once more his track "On The Nature Of Daylight" is used on the movie scored by Jóhann Jóhannsson
  • Miss Sloane
  • The Sense of an Ending
  • Hostiles - a stark modern Western, with a suitably intense score
  • White Boy Rick
  • Never Look Away
  • Mary Queen of Scots - while not authentic for the period, the music gives that impression while being suitably regal
  • Ad Astra

Television Music by Max Richter:

    Max Richter: The Blue Notebooks album CD cover
  • Night Stalker - TV series
  • Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution' - documentary series
  • Soundproof - TV movie
  • Parashat Ha-Shavua - Richter's music was used on some episodes of this Israeli TV series (which had Ari Folman as the lead writer)
  • Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me - TV series
  • The Leftovers - TV series
  • My Brilliant Friend - TV series produced in Italy
  • Black Mirror - the Season 3 episode called "Nosedive" and the score is available for download, other notable episodes have been scored by Clint Mansell and Daniel Pemberton
  • Taboo - TV drama

Max Richter - Recommendations:

See our review of the soundtrack to Waltz with Bashir, and the following albums as good examples of Richter's music:

The composer's official website is at www.maxrichtermusic.com.