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Max Richter: “I was furious with the world. it was the apex of Thatcherism”

Posted On: 25 May 2020   |   Posted By: The Big Issue

At the age of 16 I stopped going to school because I hated it. I learned piano when I was a tiny child at the beginning of primary school, but I had a piano teacher who was very old school and she would whack my hand with a ruler when I played a wrong note. And after a while I just thought, hang on, I hate this. This is a horrible experience. So I stopped going to lessons. And all through school I was cripplingly shy. It was slightly unfortunate; I have ginger hair and I was German, a double target. So I really retreated into a world of fantasy through music and books. And as soon as I could I left school altogether.
Music has been crucial to me as long as I can remember. When I was about four years old I had this experience of hearing Bach, probably the double violin concerto, and being really struck by the beautiful sounds and melodies, but also realising that there was a sort of governing logic going on behind those sounds. That the sounds meant something, and that they spoke...

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