Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 May 2020

Florian Schneider: Founding member of Kraftwerk dies aged 73

The influential keyboardist is considered a pioneer of electronic music

Florian Schneider, second left, has died aged 73. The Kraftwerk co-founder is pictured in 1974 with bandmates Karl Bartos, Ralph Hutter and Wolfgang Flur. Getty Images
Florian Schneider, second left, has died aged 73. The Kraftwerk co-founder is pictured in 1974 with bandmates Karl Bartos, Ralph Hutter and Wolfgang Flur. Getty Images

Florian Schneider, a co-founder and keyboardist of the electronic music group Kraftwerk, has died aged 73.

The German musician passed away after a battle with cancer, the band said in a statement.

“Kraftwerk co-founder and electro pioneer Ralf Hutter has sent us the very sad news that his friend and companion over many decades, Florian Schneider, has passed away from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday,” the statement said.

“In the year 1968, Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider started their artistic and musical collaboration. In 1970 they founded their electronic Kling Klang studio in Dusseldorf and started the multi-media project Kraftwerk. All the Kraftwerk catalogue albums were conceived and produced there.”

Schneider, who was born in Ohningen in 1947, and met Hutter while the band's co-founders were both studying at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Dusseldorf. They first founded a band called Organisation before forming Kraftwerk in 1970.

The multi-instrumentalist, who also played the flute, violin and electric guitar, among others, is considered one of the pioneers of electronic music.

Though Kraftwerk line-ups fluctuated throughout the band's earliest years, Schneider played with the Autobahn creators steadily until 2008.

The band released their first experimental rock album, Kraftwerk, in 1970, and went on to produce influential hits such as 1975's Radio-Activity and 1978's The Man-Machine.

The band's current line-up is comprised of Hutter, Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz and Falk Grieffenhagen.

Kraftwerk won a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2014. Their work has been cited as an inspiration by the likes of Daft Punk, while David Bowie even released a track, the largely instrumental V-2 Schneider in 1977, thought to be a tribute to the keyboardist.

In 2015, Schneider released a new track outside of Kraftwerk, Stop Plastic Pollution, in collaboration with producer Dan Lacksman.

Updated: May 7, 2020 11:56 AM

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