Klaus Schulze, German electronic music pioneer, has died aged 74

Klaus Schulze
(Image credit: Jakubaszek/Getty Images)

German electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze has died at the age of 74. Briefly a member of Tangerine Dream and Krautrock outfits Ash Ra Tempel and The Cosmic Jokers, he also operated under the alias Richard Wahnfried.

Schulze’s solo career saw him release more than 50 albums across five decades, as he explored ambient and techno and soundtracked a number of films. His 1979 record, Dune, saw him take inspiration from Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel of the same name, and he went on to collaborate with Hans Zimmer on the soundtrack for the 2021 film adaptation.

A new album, Deus Arrakis, was in the works, and was said to be a continuation of his recent work with Zimmer.

Despite being tagged as an electronic artist, Schulze was known for using both synth and acoustic sounds in his compositions. He also experimented with sampling for a time.

News of Schulze’s death was confirmed by his son Max, who said in a statement: "In deepest sorrow we have to inform you that Klaus has passed away yesterday on April 26, 2022 at the age of 74 after a long disease but all of a sudden.

“He leaves behind a huge musical legacy and is survived by his wife, two sons and four grandchildren. In his name and in the name of the family we would like to thank you for your loyalty and support over all these years - it has meant a lot to him!”

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine