Richter rose to prominence as a composer for film and TV in 2008 with his original score for the much-lauded animated war documentary Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman. Since then, he has written scores for over thirty features, including high-profile projects such as James Gray's sci-fi opus Ad Astra (starring Brad Pitt), the Oscar-nominated Werk ohne Autor by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and the Saoirse Ronan-Margot Robbie vehicle Mary Queen of Scots. Richter also composed the original scores for Wadjda (Haifaa Al-Mansour), Disconnect (Henry Alex Rubin), political thriller Miss Sloane (John Madden), revisionist western Hostiles (Scott Cooper), White Boy Rick (Yann Demange), etc.
TV aficionados will certainly have heard his music in the cult hit series The Leftovers, but also in Nosedive, the Black Mirror episode starring Bryce Dallas Howard, and BBC series Taboo for which Richter received an Emmy nomination. Richter's track On the Nature of Daylight, featured on the 2004 album The Blue Notebooks, is one of the most widely known and used musical pieces in cinema and TV series. It has been used in Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, Disconnect, Denis Villeneuve's Arrival, and in episodes of The Handmaid's Tale, HBO's Luck and Castle Rock. On the Nature of Daylight even earned its own short film starring Elisabeth Moss.
Max Richter draws from an eclectic mix of music genres and styles, ranging from nineties minimalism, to nineteenth century classical music, and from contemporary electronics to heavy metal and krautrock. His musical signature has been described as neoclassical, post-minimalist, avant-garde or modernist. It only goes to show how Max Richter’s sound defies any label and how he has shaped the field of contemporary composition.