A native of
Detroit, Max Raimi studied viola with Ara Zerounian before earning degrees in
viola performance at the University of Michigan and later at the Juilliard
School, where he was a student of Lillian Fuchs. In 1984, Sir Georg Solti hired
Raimi to join the viola section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition
to his work in the CSO, he is frequently heard in chamber performances in
Chicago, on the radio and at music festivals throughout the United States.
A prolific composer, Raimi has received commissions from many ensembles and
institutions, including the Chicago Symphony, the Library of Congress and the
American Chamber Players. In February 1998, his Elegy for twelve violas, harp,
celesta and percussion was performed at three Chicago Symphony subscription
concerts conducted by Daniel Barenboim. His compositions have been featured on
the MusicNOW series and have been recorded for CD under the labels of
Capstone Records, Egan Records, Gasparo and the Center for Holocaust, Genocide
and Peace Studies.
Raimi’s arrangements have enjoyed wide circulation as well, having been
performed by Daniel Barenboim on piano, among others. In August 1985, a sellout
crowd at the old Comiskey Park heard the Chicago Symphony viola section play
his arrangement of The Star-Spangled Banner before a Chicago White Sox
game, and a three-viola version of the same work was twice performed at the old
Chicago Stadium for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Education and outreach is another abiding interest; Raimi frequently performs
at schools throughout the Chicago area, teaches chamber music at Northwestern
University and created and hosted Classics Plugged, a monthly program
featuring interviews and commentary related to the world of classical music in
Chicago on radio station WLUW.
He lives in Chicago with his wife, Barbara Flood, and their son, Paul.