Max Richter Talk

Elbphilharmonie Talk with Max Richter

An interview with the world-famous composer.

»We only understand music up to a certain point – and that endows it with an almost magical beauty.« In his Elbphilharmonie Talk, British star composer Max Richter talks about the effect of music, about Ritter-Sport chocolate and other things that remind him of his childhood in Germany. He also talks about his dreadful piano teacher in England, tells us how Luciano Berio helped him find his own musical style in Rome, and why the kitchen table is sometimes the creative hotspot in a household. And he goes into raptures about all the artists that he and Yulia Mahr have invited to their joint »Reflektor« festival in the Elbphilharmonie.

Experience Max Richter at the Elbphilharmonie :Reflektor-Festival Max Richter & Yulia Mahr

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Max Richter

Max Richter
Max Richter © Yulia Mahr
  • About Max Richter

    Max Richter was born in 1966 in the north German town of Hameln, but he grew up in Bedford, east of London. Music already played a large role in his childhood: »I already had music in my head as a small child. It was always there – music is my basic state. Composing seems to me to be an involuntary act, in the sense that I never don't compose. For me composing means paying deliberate attention to something that is already there.«

    Richter studied piano and composition at Edinburgh University and at the Royal College of Music in London. In 1986 he co-founded the group Piano Circus, with which he performed music by Steve Reich, Philip Glass und Arvo Pärt, as well as his own works.  1996 saw the beginning of his cooperation with the experimental dance band The Future Sound of London, while 2002 started with the album »Memoryhouse«, which he recorded together with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and which was later used as the soundtrack for the documentary »Auschwitz – the Nazis and the Final Solution«; this marked the beginning of his solo career. It was followed by other soundtracks, e.g. for films by Martin Scorsese and André Téchiné. In 2012 his first own album was released on Deutsche Grammophon: »Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons«. This successful cooperation led Max Richter to sign an exclusive contract with the yellow label in March 2014.

    At the end of June 2020 Max Richter became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, best-known for presenting the Academy Awards, popularly known as »Oscars«. The Academy's true purpose is to support the development of the film industry by promoting research and encouraging cultural, educational and technological progress.

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Max Richter: Sleep

In a monumental, eight-hour live stream from the Elbphilharmonie, the artist presents his own personal lullaby and accompanies the listener through the cycles of sleep.

Wanderer between the worlds

Max Richter’s music electrifies classical-music lovers and pop fans alike. Together with his partner Yulia Mahr, he is putting on a long »Reflektor« weekend at the Elbphilharmonie.