Christian Schmitt -- organist
Following repeated invitations from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 2013, Lucerne Festival, Salzburg Festival, and Cologne’s Philharmonic Hall, Christian Schmitt (born 1976) has become one of the most sought-after concert organists of his generation.
He studied church music “A-Examen” and concert performance (with distinction) in Saarbrücken and organ with James David Christie (Boston) and Daniel Roth (Paris). He received scholarships from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and won more than ten national and international organ and music competitions held in Atlanta, Bruges, Calgary, Philadelphia, Tokyo, and elsewhere as well as the German Music Competition in 2001. In 2003 he was awarded the “Pro Europa” soloist’s prize of the European Cultural Foundation.
Christian Schmitt concertizes around the globe -– with European performances at venues such as the KKL in Lucerne, Tonhalle in Zurich, Philharmonic Hall and Konzerthaus in Berlin, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, and Konzerthaus in Vienna. He has performed twice with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2013 under Sir Simon Rattle, the Bamberg Symphony – Bavarian State Philharmonic and the Beethoven Hall Orchestra of Bonn and with leading radio orchestras (BR, NDR, MDR, SR, and RSB). Other artists he has collaborated include Juiane Banse, Sibylla Rubens, Martin Grubinger, Michael Gielen, Wen-Sinn Yang, Reinhard Goebel, Roy Goodman, Christoph Poppen, Sir Roger Norrington, Marek Janowksi, and Sir Simon Rattle.
During the 2012 season, Schmitt made his debut at the Salzburg Festival (duo with Magdalena Kozená). Further highlights included his appearance as soloist with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at a concert celebrating its hundredth anniversary and a solo matinee with a premiere (Martin Herchenröder) at the Konzerthaus in Berlin.
While holding an interim professorship at the Stuttgart College of Music, Schmitt taught Professor Jürgen Essl’s organ class during the summer academic term in 2011. Furthermore, he is an instructor at the Bach International Academy in Stuttgart and teaches at the Saar College of Music. He regularly serves as a visiting instructor at music schools in Boston, Cremona, Oslo, Mexico, Moscow, Seoul, Tashkent, and (repeatedly) Bogotá. He is a member of the juries of the “Jugend musiziert” national youth competition, the »Soli Deo Gloria« competition in Moscow, and the German Music Competition.
Schmitt’s discography comprises more than twenty CD recordings featuring solo performances and live recordings for all the member radio stations of the German ARD network. With his recordings of modern, scientific complete editions of the works of G.F. Handel (ed. T. Koopman) and F.X. Brixi (Butz-Verlag) he encourages the development of organ playing combining the findings of musicological research and musical practice. Most recently, he recorded a number of works by Charles-Marie Widor for organ and orchestra with the Bamberg Symphony–Bavarian State Philharmonic. He is working on complete recordings of Koechlin, Widor, Gubaidulina, and Pachelbel (ed. M. Belotti) for the cpo label. Schmitt performed several works by Liszt and the members of his circle with the soprano Juliane Banse and the cellist Wen-Sinn Yang for a music film presented on ARTE in 2011 on the occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of the composer’s birth.
Since 2011 Christian Schmitt has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation, serving as its organ consultant.