Can founding member Irmin Schmidt is to be given a knighthood by the French Ministry Of Culture.
The honour is linked with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, which recognises significant contributions in arts and literature. The German musician, who lives in France, will receive the prestigious accolade in Berlin on February 10.
According to the Germany embassy, the French government singled out Schmidt for “his entire work and his great connection and effort between the two countries.”
He formed the experimental band with Michael Karoli, Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit in 1968 following a trip to New York where he was introduced to the work of underground musicians including Steve Reich, Terry Riley and the Velvet Underground.
Can’s first album Monster Movie was released the following year and they went on to launch 10 albums throughout the 70s. Their 12th and final album was 1989’s Rite Time.
Schmidt has worked on the soundtracks to more than 40 films and TV shows, has released several solo albums and wrote the score for opera Gormenghast based on author Mervyn Peake’s trilogy.
Other recipients of the Chevalier award include actor George Clooney and film director Tim Burton.