Manfred Schmidt

Manfred Schmidt - soloist, chamber musician and song accompanist - is lecturer at the university of arts in Berlin. In 2012 he published a wonderful CD with works by Bach and Beethoven, recorded on his own C. Bechstein grand piano.

Manfred Schmidt, born in 1974 in Zams/Austria, studied in the piano class of Professor Heidi Köhler at the university for music and theatre in Hanover. He continued at Mc Gill University in Montréal/Canada and finished his studies in Lübeck with professor James Tocco. He participated in master classes with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Anatol Ugorski, Klaus Hellwig, Walter Levin, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, René Jacobs and Jean Claude Pennetier. In 2005, he was appointed honorary member by the International Carl Loewe society. Since 2011 he is member of the European society.

He was scholarship holder of the German Music Competition 2003 and chosen for the 48. federal selection of concerts of young artists. At the 8th international piano competition A.M.A. Calabria in Italy he was awarded with the diploma d'onore. The young artist appears as soloist in orchestral concerts, piano recitals as well as chamber musician and song accompanist around the world. Manfred Schmidt performed amongst opthers at the Lucerne festival and the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival.He works regularly with well-known singers such as Enrico Facini, Thomas Thomaschke, Julie Kaufmann, Dagmar Schellenberger and Gabriele Schnaut, plays concerts with soloists of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and is a pianist of the Aiolos Trio Berlin. Since 2005 he is lecturer at the university of arts in Berlin.

In 2011 Manfred Schmidt initialized a series of concerts in cooperation with the Straßenbahndepot Heiligensee in Berlin/ Germany. Since 2012 he is artistic director of this series. Broadcast (NDR, BR, HR, MDR, WDR, Radio Bremen, Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio), television as well as recordings document his work. In February 2012 he published a solo album with piano works composed by Bach and Beethoven. Manfred Schmidt lives in Berlin/ Germany.

Manfred Schmidt plays on his own Bechstein

Manfred Schmidt plays on his own Bechstein

Berlin has been Bechstein’s heartland ever since Carl Bechstein founded the company in the city in 1853. Meanwhile, a wealth of Bechstein upright and grand pianos stand in music institutions and private music rooms all over the city.

People who can play a C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand at home feel blessed. This particularly applies to Manfred Schmidt, a piano teacher at Berlin’s University of Fine Arts who recently recorded a CD on his own grand at Berlin-Heiligensee’s former village school. Concert technician Johannes Kammann worked wonders in tuning the instrument, embracing the intimate character of the location without giving the piano a dry, “living room” voice.

Schmidt’s interpretation also incorporates the former school’s intimate character. The pianist plays Bach (Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998; Fantasia in C minor, BWV 906; Concerto in D minor, BWV 974), Beethoven (Tempest sonata in D minor) and four Bach transcriptions by Kempff, Bauer, Busoni and Hess. In doing so, Schmidt lives up to the great tradition of German piano academies from Schnabel to Fischer to Kempff. His clear, singing and natural interpretation never sounds exaggerated, artificial or extravagant. Although his version of Beethoven’s Tempest Sonata includes more rapid tempi than Wilhelm Kempff’s interpretation from the mid-1960s, it is different – even in the finale – to versions by “tempestuous” pianists.

Schmidt let the music speak – with his Bechstein as an excellent partner.

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