Schmitt found colours to marvel at.

(Wiener Zeitung)

Since his debuts with the Berliner Philharmonic and at the Salzburg Festival, Christian Schmitt has become one of the world’s most sought-after organists. He has been praised for his virtuosic and charismatic playing. Since 2014 he has served as principal organist of the Bamberger Symphoniker, where he also curates the organ series for the Bamberg Concert Hall. He is additionally in demand as a chamber music partner.

Christian Schmitt performed with the Staatskapelle Berlin under Sir Simon Rattle, which led to a re-invitation for the current season, and has given recitals at Bachfest Leipzig and for a sold-out audience at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. He has played the organs at the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Philharmonie Berlin, the Wiener Musikverein, the Gewandhaus Leipzig and the Maison Symphonique Montreal. He has worked with conductors and soloists including Philippe Herreweghe, Jakub Hruša, Marek Janowski, Cornelius Meister, Manfred Honeck, Magdalena Kozena, Sibylla Rubens, and Michael Volle.

Highlights of the 2019/2020 season include his debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, performances of Saint-Saëns’s Third Symphony with the Staatskapelle Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim and with the NDR Radio Philharmonic under Lionel Bringuier, the premiere of the new organ concerto by Ivan Fedele in France, the Japanese premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s Umarmung – Licht und Schatten (Embrace – Light and Shadow) with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall, a duo recital at the Schlossfestspiele Ludwigsburg, and the release of his most recent recording of the Hindemith Chamber Music No. 7 with the conductor Christoph Eschenbach.

As a champion of new organ works, Christian Schmitt has performed the world premiere of Umarmung – Licht und Schatten for organ and orchestra by Toshio Hosokawa at the Bamberg Concert Hall. He regularly programs works by composers of the 20th and 21st centuries both in recitals and performances with orchestra, and pairs works by Gubaidulina and Pärt with Bach and Schumann.

For Deutsche Grammophon Schmitt recorded a series of chorales, fugues and fantasies for the project, Bach 333 – The Complete New Edition. His discography includes around 40 recordings of chamber, orchestra and organ solo works. His latest album with works by Joseph Jongen, which he recorded for the label CPO with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern and the conductor Martin Haselböck, was highly praised. He has also recorded an album of works for voice and organ with soprano Magdalena Kožena, which was released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2014. Christian Schmitt’s album with organ symphonies by Charles-Marie Widor, which he recorded with the Bamberger Symphoniker under Stefan Solyom, was awarded an ECHO Klassik.

Christian Schmitt studied at the Musikhochschule Saarbrücken and with Daniel Roth in Paris. At the University of Saarland he also took musicology and Catholic theology. As a passionate pedagogue, he is an international guest lecturer at universities worldwide. In addition, he taught the class of Professor Jürgen Essl and as a lecturer at the University of Music Saar in the context of a chair representation.

Christian Schmitt is an expert consultant for 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 the orchestra. The digital version of the famous organ, created in cooperation with a Dutch acoustics company, is transportable and easily adaptable to hall size 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.


Christian Schmitt is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at Dorn Music.

This approved biography is not to be altered or shortened without the management’s permission. Please replace older versions.

September 2019

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Title: Bach 333
Composer: J.S. Bach
Other Artists: 
Released: 2018
Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Title: Joseph Jongen: Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra op.81
Composer: J. Jongen
Other Artists: Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, Martin Haselböck- conductor
Released: 2016
Label: Classic Produktion Osnabrück (cpo)

Title: Prayer
Composer: Various
Other Artists: Magdalena Kozena – mezzo-soprano
Released: 2014
Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Title: Charles-Marie Widor: Symphonie Nr.3 op.69 for Organ & Orchestra
Composer: C. M. Widor
Other Artists: Bamberg Symphony, Stefan Solyom – conductor
Released: 2012
Label: Classic Produktion Osnabrück (cpo)

Title: Charles Koechlin; Organ Works
Composer: Ch. Koechlin
Other Artists: 
Released: 2011
Label: Classic Produktion Osnabrück (cpo)

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Janáček: Organ Solo from Glagolitic Mass

Liszt: Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale “Ad nos ad salutarem undam”

Vivaldi: Concerto in G major RV 310, for Trumpet and Organ

Jongen: Symphonie Concertante for Organ and orchestra, Op. 81

EXPERT CONSULTANT FOR CONCERT HALL ORGANS

Between 2010 and 2012, Christian Schmitt worked in close collaboration with Martin Haselböck as consultant for the project lead by the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation for the renovation of their pipe organ. Since, he has been a sought after consultant by many of the world’s leading venues. He was the lead consultant for the Stavanger (Norway) and Berlin installations of a new electric console and he currently serves as consultant for the Tonhalle Zurich where they are constructing a new organ, for the KKL in Luzern as a committee member for a new stage console, and as chair committee member for the construction of a concert hall in Brno. He has consulted with both Radio France in Paris and the Trondheim Cathedral in Norway for their recent organ projects. His extensive experience in playing in and with orchestras –as soloist and as member of the ensemble-, and his renown as international recitalist, constitute the foundation for his knowledgeable advice.

In Christian Schmitt’s own words:

“Set free from all liturgical functions, the concert hall organ must meet various artistic demands: it stands as a solo instrument, but must also be apt to play with choir and orchestra, both in concert and in accompaniment formations with voices and instruments.“

For the construction or renovation of a concert hall, architects, acousticians, and organ experts are consulted –he adds: “A pipe organ as built-in element of a concert hall exerts considerable influence on its acoustics.”

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Tanja Dorn

Owner & President
Phone: +49 (0) 511 13 222 475
Email: dorn@dornmusic.com

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