Univ.-Prof. Mag.

Benjamin Schmid

Univ.-Prof. for ViolinDepartment String StudiesPre-College
Benjamin Schmid is a university professor of violin at the Mozarteum University and was awarded the "International Prize for Art and Culture" by the city of Salzburg in 2019. He gives masterclasses worldwide, was professor and guest professor at the Bern University of the Arts, and serves as jury chair of the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg. As Artistic Director of the ClassixKempten music festival in Germany, he is responsible for a critically and audience acclaimed concert week in September that aims to present first-rate but also rare chamber music and jazz concerts.
Since his debut at the Salzburg Festival as solo partner of Sir Yehudi Menuhin in 1986, Benjamin Schmid has developed into one of the most important violinists of our time with his worldwide, always intensive concert activities in around 3000 live concerts. The Victory of Carl -Flesch Competition in London in 1992, at which he was also awarded the Mozart, Beethoven and Audience Prizes, brought the international breakthrough for the Vienna-born violinist Benjamin Schmid, among other competition prizes. Since then he has been a guest at the most important stages in the world with well-known orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Philharmonia Orchestra, the Petersburg Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandthaus Orchestra or the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. His solo charisma, the clarity of expression and technique, the extraordinary range of his repertoire - in addition to all the usual ones He also plays the violin concertos by Wolf Ferrari, Gulda, Korngold, Elgar, Weill, Dutilleux or Weinberg –  and his improvisational skills in jazz make him a violinist with an incomparable profile. A focus of his repertoire that has repeatedly received awards is the violin works of WA Mozart: Benjamin Schmid is the winner of the Carl Flesch Mozart Prize in London, the Echo Klassik Prize, the Opus Klassik Prize and has repeatedly won the interpreter comparison of the Swiss radio SFR, each with Mozart . He wrote for the Henle Verlag  Mozart violin sonatas were published, the reconstructed fantasy in c minor for violin and piano was premiered with Robert Levin and Leopold Mozart's "New Violin School" was co-edited. Of Benjamin Schmid's more than 60 CDs, some were awarded the Opus Klassik Prize, several times with the German Record Prize (as the only violinist in the Classic and Jazz categories), the Echo Classic Prize, Gramophone Editor's Choice or the Strad Selection excellent. In addition to recordings of the standard repertoire of violin concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski and Brahms, his award-winning new discoveries of violin concertos by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Ermanno Wolf Ferrari, Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Friedrich Gulda (violin and cello concert ), György Ligeti, Nicolo Paganini - Kreisler and Max Reger.  On the occasion of his 50th birthday, OehmsClassics released "Benjamin Schmid Complete OehmsClassics Recordings" (20 CD box). He has appeared several times in TV concerts broadcast worldwide with the Vienna Philharmonic: with Seiji Ozawa at the Salzburg Festival or with Valery Gergiev at the Summer Night Concert Schoenbrunn; both have been released on CD and DVD by Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft and OehmsClassics. Several documentaries about Benjamin Schmid that have been broadcast around the world complete the exceptional rank of the violinist. Since the 2020/21 season, Benjamin Schmid has been artistic director of the  Chamber Orchestra Musica Vitae in Växjö, Sweden and is planning a program characterized by classical and jazz influences. He is also the artistic director of the orchestra  Salzburg Orchestra Soloists (SAOS), with which the music of the 20th century is in the foreground. Benjamin Schmid is one of the most important violinists in the book "The Great Violinists of the 20th Century," by Jean-Michel Molkou (publisher Buchet-Chastel , 2014).  He performs on the "ex Viotti 1718" Stradivarius violin, which the Austrian National Bank has made available to him, as well as on a modern violin made in 2015 by Wiltrud Fauler.