Pioneering German synthesist Klaus Schulze has died at the age of 74.
Klaus Schulze (4 August 1947 – 26 April 2022), along with Tangerine Dream, created what’s now known as the ‘Berlin School’ style of electronic music or ‘Kosmische Muzik’. His music explored improvisation with electronics and synthesizers, with long-form pieces that combine drones and ambient sections with more driving sequencer-driven sections.
Schulze was extremely prolific, releasing dozens of solo albums; 50+ albums that collect his live work and previously unreleased work; work with Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel; collaborations with Pete Namlook, Lisa Gerrard and many others; and a series of releases under the Richard Wahnfried moniker.
The news of Schulze’s death was shared on his official Facebook page:
with deep sorrow we have to inform you that Klaus yesterday on 26th. April 2022 at the age of 74 after a long illness, but yet suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.
Not only does he leave a great musical legacy, but also a wife, two sons and four grandchildren.
On behalf of him and the family, we would like to thank you for your loyalty and support throughout the years – it has meant a lot!
His music will live on and so will our memories..
There was still so much to write about him as a human and artist, but he probably would have said by now: nuff said!
The farewell will take place in the closest family circle, just as he wished. You know what he was like: his music matters, not his person…
also on behalf of the family and the Klaus Schulze team”
Schulze remained active musically, with his latest album Deus Arrakis, scheduled for release on June 10, 2022.
Here’s Schulze discussing his first synthesizer, an EMS Synthi A:
Here’s a live performance by Klaus Schulze that captures him performing For Barry Graves on WDR Köln in 1977:
Here’s a more recent live performance, from 2008, featuring vocalist Lisa Gerrard:
Photo credit: Top image by Andreas Liebold, via till-kopper.de