Gerhard Richter

Portraits for a Study

In February 2014, Arts Council England, the PRS for Music Foundation, Yamaha UK, Falmouth University, The Royal Academy of Music and Goldsmiths University supported and participated in Jim Aitchison’s project to create 2 hours of musical responses to artworks by Gerhard Richter, in versions for distributed piano, and for string quartet.

In part one of the performance event, Pianist Roderick Chadwick played 4 Disklavier pianos simultaneously, linked via broadband, 300 miles apart, at Falmouth University, The Royal Academy Of Music, Goldsmiths University and Yamaha Music London. In part two, the music was performed once again, in a re-filtered version for string quartet, by the Kreutzer Quartet (Peter Sheppard Skærved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff, and Neil Heyde). The project was also grateful to receive generous help from Gerhard Richter and his studio, from Sir Nicholas Serota and Tate, and from curator Paul Moorhouse.

Seascape (Sea-Sea)1998

copyright © Gerhard Richter 2020 (21042020)

48 Portraits 1972

copyright © Gerhard Richter 2020 (21042020)

Performance view at AMATA, Falmouth University 

Hans Zimmer Responds to Portraits for a Study

"Dear Jim, ...I've been following this piece of yours for quite a while - out of so many reasons: I love Richter's work - We've never met, just circled each other through many mutual acquaintances. And honestly - I find his art on a level that is quite intimidating and I would just make a blabbering foolish spectacle fan-boy of myself if we met in person. I find it's best to avoid meeting one's heroes...

Secondly, I find the mystery of Ulrike Meinhof - and how he - and by extension, you - chose to capture it - something I myself have thought about for a long time. Also, I had the good fortune to spend a private evening at the Tate Modern, just being able to look at those images without the distraction of others wandering in front of them. I love the tolling bell of the left hand against the mystery of the Bach strains in your piece. All the conflict, paradox and dichotomy that Germany represents to me and maybe my whole generation, the fog of a wounded culture. ...And, of course, I love the metaphor of the disembodied Disklavier idea. Plus...of course you got me in my full techno-geek mode as well.

I love your work...All my best, -Hz-" (Reprinted with permission)

 © Jim Aitchison 2020