A native of Detroit, Max Raimi has been a violist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1984. He is an active chamber musician and served as a chamber music coach at Northwestern University for many years.
Raimi is a prolific composer, having received commissions from many ensembles and institutions, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Library of Congress and the American Chamber Players. In February 1998, His Elegy for 12 violas, harp, celeste and percussion was performed at three Chicago Symphony subscription concerts conducted by Daniel Barenboim. In December 2017, violinist Gil Shaham performed his work Anger Management as an encore at a CSO subscription concert. Riccardo Muti and the CSO gave the world premiere performance of his Three Lisel Mueller Settings, a CSO commission, at three subscription concerts in March 2018.
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 CSO viola section play his arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a Chicago White Sox game, and a three-viola version was twice performed at the old Chicago Stadium for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. On two occasions, Riccardo Muti has conducted Raimi’s orchestration of the University of Michigan fight song “Hail to the Victors” at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.