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".
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.
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.
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.