Christian Schmitt

About

Christian Schmitt performed with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle and Staatskapelle Berlin under the batton of Daniel Barenboim. He has played the organs at  Konzerthaus and Philharmonie Berlin, Wiener Musikverein, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Cologne Cathedral, Den Haag (Bätz), Suntory Hall Tokyo, Walt Disney Hall Los Angeles, Groningen (Schnitger) or Maison Symphonique Montreal. He has worked with conductors and soloists including Philippe Herreweghe, Jakub Hruša, Christoph Eschenbach, Marek Janowski, Cornelius Meister, Manfred Honeck, Magdalena Kozena, Sibylla Rubens or Michael Volle.  His discography includes around 40 recordings for labels like Deutsche Grammophon, BIS, CPO and Brilliant Classics.

Christian Schmitt studied musicology and churchmusic, organ with Daniel Roth, James David Christie and Leo Krämer. He is an expert consultant for renovations and new construction of organs in Berlin, Nuremberg, Zurich, Lucerne and Brno. Since 2014 he has served as principal organist of the Bamberger Symphoniker.

Career

Highlights

  • 2012 Debut Salzburg Festival
  • 2013 Debut Berlin Philharmonic
  • 2014 Widor Recording, 10 Symphonies Cavaillé-Coll Organ Rouen
  • 2017 Bach Recording for Deutsche Grammophon on historic organs (Silbermann and Creutzburg)
  • 2021 Artist in Focus Tonhalle Zurich and Curator of the Organ Festival Tonhalle Zurich 2022

Motivation

Why do you believe students should come to Codarts?
Organ students at Codarts enjoy lessons at excellent organs. They have regular access to a wide range of famous historic instruments by such world class organ builders as Bätz, Cavaillé-Coll, Müller, Schnitger and Walcker. Our concept of team teaching within the organ department makes studying at Codarts an exceptional experience. Also I would like to recommend the fantastic possibility to combine theory and practice in a five-year Dual Degree programme, offered by Codarts and her partners from the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab (RASL).

What are you going to teach them?
Besides the main works for organ from J.S. Bach and his precursors from all countries and styles up to contemporary  music, my speciality is teaching symphonic German and French repertoire of the 19th and 20th century. I consider it particularly important to study a wide variety of literature on historical organs. These experiences always guide us to find the best solutions in style, tempo and sound. Also I am looking forward to preparing the students for the different challenges of a professional career in music, for example as a church musician, a teacher as well as a concert organist.

How are you going to teach them?
A good balance between motivating and guiding the students as well as an open mind are essential for a good teacher.

Awards

Selection

  • 2000 Prizewinner „Musica antiqua“ Brügge
  • 2000 Special Prize “Modern Music” Tokyo
  • 2001 Preis des Deutschen Musikwettbewerbs in Berlin
  • 2002 Prizewinner AGO Competition Philadelphia
  • 2013 ECHO Klassik Widor-Organ Symphonies in Rouen and with the Bamberg Symphony opp. 42,3 und 69

Media