Klaus Schulze Has Died At The Age Of 74

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:

“Dear fans,

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…

Maximilian Schulze
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

31 thoughts on “Klaus Schulze Has Died At The Age Of 74

  1. Sad news. But he’s also left behind a huge legacy of great albums.

    My favorites are mostly his 70’s classics, like Timewind, Moondawn, Body Love 1 & 2, and X. But his later live albums are amazing, too.

    RIP to one of my musical heroes!

  2. Sad news. I followed his music closely…He’ll be missed!! I know I’ll miss him. My heart goes out to his family.

    He’ll be with us in Spirit always!!!! He was the biggest influence on me!!

    RIP Klaus!!!!!

  3. As someone who has never found the Berlin School style to be all that engaging, the 1977 video above was awesome. To do this style well, seems like you really gotta know your equipment in order to transition to new places expertly and Klaus sure did! The churning-to-whispery space he wound everything down to in the last minute was amazing and it was very fresh to me. Thank you Klaus.

    1. It is a great video! It’s too bad there are not more performance videos like this from the early synth pioneers.

      There’s a Tangerine Dream performance video from the 70s, but it’s random footage paired with a different track. There are a few Jarre videos from the same era, but they are just him miming to the music. Same thing with Vangelis – just a few short fragments of him improvising from TV shows.

      Would love to see more 70’s Schulze footage, if anyone has links!

      1. Yeah, when I see a 70s or 80s live video with a modular, I feel like I know with 98% certitude that it’s mimed. It took me a while to finally admit that most synth performances in general are mimed, and furthermore, after watching those who didn’t mime struggle, to understand why and be sympathethic, though still disappointed.

      2. Yeah, although there are tons of audio records of Klaus’ concerts (by himself or bootleged) and also from TD, there is nearly no old video footage. That’s because in the beginning both could be entitled “niche”, and because they did not stage a “show”, no one had the idea of filming one or several persons standing/sitting still while “pressing some keys” (and amateur video cams didi not exist back then). Too bad.
        From the infamous Coventry video of TD albeit I saw a video somewhere someone constructed with the original bootleg music.

  4. After years without listening to Klaus’ music, yesterday I spent the afternoon with Irrlicht and Dune. I have also posted a short review of the second on progarchives. It’s a very strange and sad coincidence. Now I’m waiting for Deus Arrakis. As the Dune’s God-Emperor in the worms, his conscience will survive divided into his albums.

  5. Really very bad news yesterday about Klaus Schulze leaving us all who no doubt were able to connect to his unique creations at some point in our lives, to meditate, to pass some good or not so good time, or simply to relax and enjoy his unmistakable notes and pulses. It must have been the mid or late seventies that I first had the lucky chance to come across one of his solo albums which were far from easy to get in a Latin American country like Chile.I believe it probably was MOONWIND, or BLACK DANCE. It was also a very lucky chance and an honour to get the opportunity to interview him for Futuro Fm, back in the mid nineties, on a two-day phoner which allowed me to produce a four-part special restrospective. Thank you Klaus Schulze for enhancing my perception of sound, music and mental pictures. Sooner or later, the younger generations will be discovering and sharing your immeasurable legacy as many of us have done ever since we first discovered your musical universe. Fly high, fly free now.

  6. I never really connected with his music the way I did with Tangerine Dream. However, I have 2 of his recordings and am now playing Trancefer which I must say is excellent. So, thank you for your music Herr Schulze. R.I.P

  7. He is the soundtrack of my life as well as the end of the world; fortunately, the two have not (yet) intermingled.

    I was a teenager when I first heard Irrlicht. Then, unfortunately, i bought Aphrica (sp?) which was every bit as dreadful as Klaus mentioned it, but more….

    When his Dziekuje, Poland (1983) came out, I bought it more as a lark since the release of Risky Business, and a renewed love of mine for all things electronic.

    That album transfixed, reconfigured, and elevated me as a human being. To this day, it is the most revelatory piece of music that has found its way to me.

    Klaus, you are forever.

  8. Hearing the news of Klaus Schulz’s passing was very disheartening took me a minute to grasp & come to terms with as he was one of my biggest musical icons and influences ‘Timewind’ is my personal faves, saddened to hear the news we’ve lost another one of the best folks

  9. All those years of looking at album covers and they can’t even spell his name correctly. An insult to the man. RIP Klaus Schulze

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