“Schmitt found colours to marvel at.“
Since his debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle and the at Salzburg Festival with Magdalena Kožená, Christian Schmitt has become one of the world’s most soughtafter organists. He is praised for his virtuosic and charismatic playing. In 2021/22 he is an "Artist in Focus" of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich as well as curator of the „International Organ Days"and he inaugurates the new organ under the direction of Paavo Järvi. He is also "Artist in Residence" at the Staatstheater Augsburg in 2021/22. Since 2014, he has served as Principal Organist of the Bamberger Symphoniker, where he also curates the organ series for the Bamberg Concert Hall.
Recent highlights include his debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, performances with the Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim, the Japanese premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's "Embrace - Light and Shadow" with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall, and the release of his most recent recording of Hindemith’s Chamber Music No. 7 with conductor Christoph Eschenbach.
Christian Schmitt has played the organs at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Berlin,Berlin Philharmonie, Wiener Musikverein, Gewandhaus Leipzig, and Maison Symphonique Montréal with conductors and soloists including Philippe Herreweghe, Jakub Hruša, Marek Janowski, Cornelius Meister, Manfred Honeck, Sibylla Rubens, Matthias Höfs, and Michael Volle. Christian Schmitt's discography currently includes around 40 recordings. For Deutsche Grammophon, Schmitt recorded two CDs for the project 'Bach 333 - Die neue Gesamtausgabe'.He has also recorded an album of works for voice and organ with soprano Magdalena Kožena, which was released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2014. In 2013, the organist was awarded an ECHO Klassik for his recording of Widor's organ symphonies, Opp. 42.3 and 69.
A passionate educator, Christian is a guest lecturer at universities worldwide. Since the winter semester of 2021, he has been teaching at Codarts University Rotterdam as Professor of Organ and successor to Ben van Oostens.
Christian Schmitt studied organ with Daniel Roth (Paris), Leo Krämer (Saarbrücken),Saarbrücken), and James David Christie (Boston).
He is an expert consultant for organ renovations and new construction of organs in Berlin, Nuremberg, Zurich, Lucerne, and Brno. His latest project is a digitally sampled version of the organ of the Philharmonie Essen for concerts with and in orchestras. The digital version of the famous organ, created in cooperation with a Dutch acoustics company, is transportable and easily adaptable to hall sizes and needs. Christian Schmitt has been a member of numerous international music competition juries and is involved in the music education project Rhapsody in School.
©Dorn Music, September 2021