4-5 OCTOBER 2019 (10PM-6AM)
Max Richter © Rahi Rezvani
11 SEPTEMBER 2019 (TORONTO, ON) - Pioneering composer Max Richter is bringing his monumental 8-hour lullaby SLEEP to China for his most ambitious concert yet: a live outdoor performance at the Great Wall of China in front of more than 300 fans – in beds not seats. The ground-breaking performance marks Max’s debut in China and the Asian premiere of SLEEP. It is set to take place from 10pm on 4th October to 6am on 5th October, on the opening night of the 22nd Beijing Music Festival (BMF).
It is the first time a concert of this scale has happened at the Great Wall. Max Richter says, “Performing SLEEP at such an iconic location is a very special opportunity at BMF. This concert is a huge undertaking – physically, mentally and logistically – but we can’t wait to do it. It is sure to be a night to remember.”
The concert will take place under the moonlight sky, alongside a portion of the Great Wall near Beijing known as the ‘Water Pass’. Richter will lead the performance from the piano, alongside a string quintet from the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and soprano Grace Davidson. Beds will be installed for concert-goers to slumber through the concert.
Max Richter’s 8-hour SLEEP concert is the live incarnation of his 2015 Deutsche Grammophon album of the same name, which has been hugely successful worldwide – praised by critics and garnering over 260 million streams. Composed in consultation with renowned American neuroscientist David Eagleman, Richter describes the work as his “personal lullaby for a frenetic world.”
The landmark piece was premiered in London four years ago (becoming the longest single continuous piece of music ever broadcast live on the radio) and has since been performed around the world in a variety of stunning venues including the Sydney Opera House, Grand Park in Los Angeles, Kraftwerk Berlin and the Philharmonie de Paris.
This will be the first time Richter has performed at the Beijing Music Festival. The international event runs from 4-28 October and features over 20 shows including operas, symphony concerts, recitals, chamber music and much more.
On 4 October 2019 Deutsche Grammophon will release VOYAGER: ESSENTIAL MAX RICHTER, the first ever collection of the acclaimed composer’s work. The 43-track collection will be available as a double CD and e-album and contains work from across his vast catalogue, among them two previously unreleased bonus tracks from SLEEP.
“Max Richter is truly a modern day musical genius.” – The Line of Best Fit
ABOUT MAX RICHTER
Max Richter’s work embodies both the rigour of the classical tradition and the experimentalism of contemporary electronica. Heart-stopping orchestral writing and mind-bending synthesis co-exist in his work; as he says, ‘Music exists beyond boundaries’. Richter writes beautifully crafted, intelligent work that is disarming in its honesty; his music, despite its underlying sophistication, remain accessible.
Almost uniquely among contemporary classical composers, Richter’s music is radically unafraid of appealing directly to our emotions. In addition to numerous Classical No.1 records and streaming numbers measured in the hundreds of millions, Richter’s 2012’s Recomposed: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons topped classical charts in 22 countries. He has consistently moved between solo works starting with his 2002 album Memoryhouse, described by BBC Music as “a masterpiece...” and collaborations with other artists. His work with musician and filmmaker Woodkid (The Golden Age) brought the duo a Grammy nomination, and the recent production of the Olivier award-winning Woolf Works, with long term collaborator Wayne McGregor at The Royal Ballet, resulted in the album Three Worlds once again topping classical charts worldwide.
Although long a staple of the avant-garde, by virtue of his influential solo albums, Richter’s name has recently seeped into public consciousness through his many collaborations with filmmakers. Golden Globe and European Film Academy Award-winner Waltz with Bashir, HBO’s cult drama The Leftovers, Miss Sloane with Jessica Chastain, Hostiles starring Christian Bale, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, and Tom Hardy’s Taboo, gaining Richter his first Emmy nomination, have all benefitted from his art. In addition to his scoring work, numerous directors, including Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island) and, most recently, Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), have dipped into Richter’s catalogue when they need something special. Richter has recently completed scores White Boy Rick starring Matthew McConaughey, Mary Queen of Scots starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt, as well as the HBO series My Brilliant Friend.