Florian Schneider, electronic music pioneer and co-founder of Kraftwerk, dies at 73
Florian Schneider, co-founder of the German band Kraftwerk, has died after a short battle with cancer. A representative for the band confirmed the news in a statement on Wednesday. He was 73.
“Kraftwerk co-founder and electro pioneer Ralf Alf Hütter has sent us the very sad news that his friend and companion over many decades Florian Schneider has passed away from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday,” the statement reads.
The Guardian reports Schneider passed away a week ago and has already had a private burial.
Schneider and Hütter formed Kraftwerk in Düsseldorf in 1970 becoming one of the first acts to popularize electronic music. The pair were highly influential pioneers of the genre featuring electrical musical instruments like synthesizers and drum machines. Kraftwerk became popular for its "robot pop" style with themes tackling modern urban life and technology in post-war Europe.
Kraftwerk released ten albums before Schneider split from the group in 2008 including Autobahn, Ralf und Florian, Trans-Europe Express, and Computer Work. The band announced a 50th-anniversary tour in 2020 but were forced to postpone due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schneider and Hütter were honored in 2014 with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2018 they won their first Grammy Award in the category of Best Dance/Electronic Album. The group has been nominated six times for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame though they have yet to be inducted.
Schneider celebrated his 73rd birthday on April 7.