Chris Franke (born on April 6th, 1953 in Berlin) studied classical music and composition at the Berlin Conservatorium. During that time he was actively involved in music as a rock and jazz musician with the group Agitation Free. Chris Franke, together with his teacher in composition, set up a sound studio within the music school. The improvisation courses they conducted resulted in a project that became the Berlin School of Electronic Music. It was there that he met Edgar Froese and became a member of Tangerine Dream in 1971. He was not a founding member of TD as is often written in some magazines, as TD existed for more than three years and had recorded and released their first album and a couple of TV scores. Nevertheless, besides Edgar Froese himself, Chris Franke was the musician staying the longest time with TD -- nearly 17 years.
In 1987, Edgar Froese and Chris Franke could no longer picture a creative collaboration in the future due to differences of opinion and a lot of hassles with unprofessional management by American record companies. Edgar Froese wanted to develop a creative approach to new technologies and methods of composition, but Chris Franke wanted to take a break from music for a while. So his last appearance with TD on stage was on August 1st, 1987 for the 750th anniversary of Berlin. Immediately thereafter he left the group.
Four years later, he released his first solo album Pacific Coast Highway (1991), followed by the soundtrack Universal Soldier and the live album The London Concert (both 1992). He also founded the Berlin Symphonic Film Orchestra and opened a new studio in Hollywood. In the 90's Chris Franke was more and more involved in composing soundtracks for TV productions, especially for the SciFi series Babylon 5.