Max Raabe, born 1962 in Lünen, has always sung - in the youth choir and on his bicycle.
Max Raabe moved to Berlin in his early twenties to study opera. He financed his studies with small performances and in 1986 he founded the Palast Orchester with some fellow students.
In 1992 Max Raabe wrote his first hit “Kein Schwein ruft mich an” (Why Does No One Call) and appeared on stage in Heinrich Mann´s “Der blaue Engel” (Blue Angel) under the direction of Peter Zadek .
Parallel to the increasing success and international career with the Palast Orchester, Max Raabe gives concerts with pianist Christoph Israel. Their duo-CD “Über´s Meer” (Over The Sea) was released 2010 by Universal / Decca.
Max Raabe´s commitment to the remembrance of 20s/30s music has received various awards. In particular he was presented with the ECHO Classic in 2000 for his interpretation of “Mack the Knife”, the Paul-Lincke-Ring of the City of Goslar in 2005, the cultural prize of his hometown Lünen in 2007, and in 2012 the Order of Merit of the State of Berlin.
Since 2007 Max Raabe has succeeded the German comedy-legend Loriot as honorary MC for the annual Berlin opera gala of the German AIDS foundation. He has also performed for many charity events amongst which are the Opera Village project in Africa founded by Christoph Schlingensief, Yehudi Menuhin´s Live Music Now and the Berlin City Mission. Max Raabe also supports the project Schools Against Racism and the initiative Children´s Home Romania.
In the summer of 2010 Max Raabe collaborated with producer, singer and composer Annette Humpe to compose, sing and produce music for the album “Küssen kann man nicht alleine” (One Cannot Kiss Alone), which was awarded Platinum in 2012. The successful duo´s second album “Für Frauen ist das kein Problem” (For Women It´s No Problem) was released in 2012 and won Gold a year later.
In summer 2017 Max Raabe teamed up with "pop specialists" Annette Humpe, Christoph Israel, Peter Plate, Ulf Leo Sommer, Daniel Faust and Achim Hagemann. Together they wrote the album "Der perfekte Moment .. wird heut verpennt" (literally "sleeping through the perfect moment"). The album was released late 2017. The following concert tour by Max Raabe & Palast Orchester was named after this album. In August 2018 “Der perfekte Moment .. wird heut verpennt” reached Goldstatus.
With the Palast Orchester and guests Herbert Grönemeyer, Lars Eidinger, Namika, Lea, Mr Lordi, Pawel Popolski and Samy Deluxe, the live album "Max Raabe & Palast Orchester MTV Unplugged" was produced in 2019 as CD/DVD. Interpreting own compositions and original songs from the 20s/30s together with these artists who have no stylistic connection to the Palast Orchester was what made this project so appealing to Max Raabe. Filming took place in Berlin´s Clärchens Ballhaus.
Since 2020 Max Raabe & Palast Orchester are on tour with their show "Guten Tag, liebes Glück", again named after a popular Max Raabe song. Here, a mixture of well known and newly discovered 20s/30s originals are entertainingly interspersed with Max Raabe compositions.
The newest album by Max Raabe "Wer hat hier schlechte Laune" (Who is in a bad mood, now) was released on October 14 2022. Pre-published singles were "Der Sommer", "Wer hat hier schlechte Laune" and "Ein Tag wie Gold", also presented as music videos. "Ein Tag wie Gold" is the title-song of the new Babylon-Berlin season.
(Foto: Gregor Hohenberg)