"Nerdly-but-fiery" - The Arcata Eye
Max Kutner is a guitarist, composer and instructor originally from Las Vegas, NV. As an instrumentalist, Max's focus is on new works for the electric guitar as well the promotion of electric guitar in new performance settings. His current concert programs feature radical restructurings of older works from all musical epochs utilizing new technologies as an extension of the original intent of composers, as well as avenues for improvisation. As a composer, Max translates several of his non-musical passions: namely literature and architecture, into a distinctly singular musical language that is neither strictly exclusive or accessible to performers. His compositions have been featured in showcases at CalArts and the Wulf, television station KCET and radio stations KPFK (Los Angeles, CA), FRSC (Santa Cruz, CA), KCBS (Seattle), KBOO (Portland, OR), KMHD (Portland, OR), WFMU (Newark, NJ), KXLU (Los Angeles, CA), WVUD (Newark, DE), WCBN (Ann Arbor, MI), KSDS (San Diego, CA) and KUNR (Reno, NV).
Max was responsible for developing, producing and performing multiple instruments in the U.S. premiere performance of Mike Keneally's The Universe Will Provide (REDCAT) and has also participated in West Coast premiere performances of pieces by Sofia Gubaidulina (REDCAT) and Ulrich Krieger (Beyond Baroque). He has also performed as a member of the Johnny Vatos Boingo Dance Party featuring former members of Oingo Boingo, the Grandmothers of Invention (Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Napoleon Murphy Brock) playing the music of Frank Zappa before a worldwide audience, the Alphonso Johnson Band, Henry Kaiser and Lili Haydn. Presently, Max is the lead guitarist of the Magic Band (John French, Denny Walley and Mark Boston) which performs the music of Captain Beefheart around the world.
His performance credits also include dozens of recitals with various singers and chamber groups as well as leading several live bands who are actively performing in the greater Los Angeles area. He has also performed and/or recorded world music from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Norway, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Persia, Nigeria,Turkey, Ireland and Scotland. Max is being featured on an upcoming album of John Cage's indeterminate works for Mode Records and has previously been a soloist with the University of Nevada Chamber Choir and Guitar Ensemble. Max has also performed as lead guitarist for Truckee River Community College (TMCC) productions of HAIR and RENT and has contributed to the sound design of an adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's play, Desire Under the Elms. From 2012-2013, he taught on the Adjunct Faculty of CalArts as guitar instructor for non-majors. Additionally, Max is the Artist Liaison for the Los Angeles-based creative music label, Orenda Records.