Maxim Starcke is a Capetonian composer, multi-instrumentalist (saxophones, classical/electric guitar and electric bass), music producer, artist and educator.
He received a Bmus at the South African College of Music UCT in 2004, majoring in classical guitar and graduating with distinction in ethnomusicology and was awarded the Meyer Levinson prize for best original composition in 2003. In 2012 Starcke received his Masters in Composition with distinction, supervised by Emeritus Prof Peter Klatzow and Dr Morne Bezuidenhout.
In 2011, during the research for his dissertation Aspects of Landscape Music, Starcke was awarded the UCT Jules Kramer overseas travel award to visit Norway to interview electric guitarist Eivind Aarset. In 2010 he visited Yale University, USA, to interview American composer Ingram Marshall. Aarset and Marshall were both included as part of the study topic for his dissertation. Starcke composed a portfolio of works consisting of the electro-acoustic piece Stroompie and orchestral works Overberg Suite and esCape (the latter two premiered by the Cape Town Goema Orchestra in 2012 and 2013 respectively). In August 2014 the Caoe Town Goema Orchestra premiered his piece Transcending Landscape for soprano saxophone and string orchestra at the South African College of Music. New Music SA commissioned Starcke to compose a work for performance with the South African New Music Ensemble at the 2014 edition of the Unyazi IV Electronic Music Festival in Johannesburg. The South African New Music Ensemble (Jill Richards, Morne van Heerden, Frank Mallows, Waldo Alexander, Marguerite Spies, Brydon Bolton, conducted by Gerben Grooten) premiered Stroompie: Continuo at the Goethe Institute on September 11th 2014.
In 2013 Starcke produced a live album with Ronan Skillen entitled Forgery and is currently producing the forthcoming album of Souls Of Ancient Fish, a collaboration with poet Ruben Mowszowski and African music cultural historian Dizu Plaatjies. Starcke has also worked and performed with jazz vocalist Lisa Bauer, On The Edge of Wrong Festival, Norwegian drummer Øyvind Skarbø, songwriter Matthew Rice, Starkravingsane, Nordic improvisors MotSol, jazz rock quartet Cascade, metal band Damnatia, performance artist Leila Anderson, theatre director Sanjin Muftiç and film director Ben Collins, amongst many others.