Florian Schneider, one of the founding members of pioneering German electronic music group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. The Guardian reports that he died a week ago from cancer, with the news being confirmed by both a musical collaborator and Sony Berlin.
Schneider founded Kraftwerk in 1970 with Ralf Hütter, the two having met while studying in 1968. Having started life as an experimental rock act, the band went on to release a string of hugely influential electronic albums, starting with the seminal Autobahn in 1974.
Schneider began his musical career playing the flute and other acoustic instruments, processing them with effects, but like the rest of Kraftwerk, he became famous for his use of synthesizers.
An enigmatic character, Schneider remained a member of Kraftwerk until 2008, when he left with little explanation.
His reported death has sent shockwaves through the electronic music community, and provoked an outpouring of grief on social media.
We are absolutely devastated to learn that one of our heroes Florian Schneider has passed away. pic.twitter.com/Y2dnYfxkj8May 6, 2020
what would electronic music be without Kraftwerk? R.I.P Florian Schneider-EslebenMay 6, 2020
Another of my great heroes gone https://t.co/3ElmWlRKZRMay 6, 2020
Farewell to the extraordinary Florian Schneider (1947-2020) of @kraftwerk - the man machine lives on through an astonishingly original back catalogue of inspirational music. pic.twitter.com/yWF5UGwq8cMay 6, 2020
Way ahead of his time. 🙏https://t.co/sbfeVEpSeZMay 6, 2020
RIP Florian Schneider, essential electronic music pioneer and purchaser of asparagus. pic.twitter.com/MtHjtcduc3May 6, 2020
Such an important influence upon so much of the music we know, from Bowie, to electronica, much of the 80s and beyond into modern techno and rap, Florian Schneider was forging a new Metropolis of music for us all to live in. RIP #FlorianSchneider #Kraftwerk pic.twitter.com/y2nXuAY66eMay 6, 2020
Oh, no. #kraftwerk https://t.co/amLkGj01giMay 6, 2020