As far away as possible from the racing line to becoming a classical musician, Max has been through an exciting journey so far.
Instead of early musical education there was a huge garden to discover at his parents' house. No junior music competitions but lots of boredom in the countryside, hanging out with friends most of the time and exploring the field of jazz and improvisation. Things that seem to be pretty different from how the world moves today, but that have shaped a creative mindset that stings Max up to the present day.
Starting to figure out what being a contemporary percussionist might mean and after finishing his studies in percussion, pedagogy, psychology and contemporary performance at the 'Hanns Eisler' University of Music Berlinand HfMDK Frankfurt, Max played with Berliner Philharmoniker, Ensemble Modern, Die Deutsche Kammerphil-harmonie Bremen just to name a few. In the student years he was a member of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Young Euro Classics Orchestra, RIAS Youth Orchestra and the Echo Ensemble for Contemporary Music and had a fellowship from Yehudi Menuhin's'Live Music Now' Foundation.
Performing and teaching throughout Europe and the US, creating concepts within contemporary music education, having directed a music academy for years, conducting the talent pool JugendPercussionEnsemble Hessen,
researching and publishing on new media and electroacoustic music, there is still a feeling of being on quest.
The work with composers like George Benjamin, Beat Furrer, Gerhard Müller-Hornbach, Wolfgang Rihm, Krzysztof Penderecki and conductors like Sir Simon Rattle, Paavo Järvi, Kristjan Järvi, Peter Rundel, Titus Engel, Michael Sanderling and Lothar Zagrosek led Max to concert halls throughout Europe, the US and Asia as well as festival appearances including Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, Berlin Atonal, Rheingau Musik Festival, MusikMesse Festival Frankfurt, Nieder-sächsische Musiktage, LUMINALE Frankfurt, Festival Van Vlaanderen & LOOP Conference Berlin.
Max is currently teaching at the University of Hamburg and BfS Musik Dinkelsbühl. His latest research about experimental ways of music education has been published by SCHOTT campus.
Working with Lynsey Peisinger and Marina Abramovic he in 2019 performed the "Abramovic Method for Music".
In 2021 Max Gaertner earned his doctoral degree (Dr. phil.) with the dissertation "ELEKTROAKUSTISCH", an artistic research on performing electroacoustic percussion compositions. The work has been published via ARE edition.
The constant research on extended playing techniques and melting acoustic and electronic sounds led to numerous collaborations with international composers as well as book and video releases.
Teaching has always been an important part in Max' professional career. Working with a variety of students he has gained lots of experience in classical and contemporary orchestra and ensemble workshops, competition and audition preparation, new media, concepts for working with children, adults, non-musicians, handicapped people as well as in coaching process research for professional musicians, music teachers and music schools.
As a researcher in the field of contemporary music performance,
experimental sound and electroacoustic compositions, Max periodically takes part in conventions and is publishing in print and blog.
Lessons, workshops, lectures and coaching can be located at Max' Percussion Studio, any public venue or online (via Skype) as well.
Students can also apply for a 1-3 year study program with Max that includes a state-approved degree at BfS Musik Dinkelsbühl.
For further information feel free to contact.