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Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt

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Cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt combines solo work with appearances as conductor of the string ensemble Metamorphosen Berlin, of which he was a co-founder. He is also a noted educator. Schmidt was born on December 18, 1971, in Freiburg, Germany. He attended the Musikhochschule Lübeck, where he studied with David Geringas, and he went on for further work at the Juilliard School in New York with Aldo Parisot. Schmidt won an unusual number of top-rank competitions, including the International Rostropovich Competition (with a jury headed by Mstislav Rostropovich himself), the International Leonard Rose Cello Competition, and the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb. He has appeared with major orchestras in several countries, particularly emphasizing Germany and the U.S.; his concerto credits include those with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the NDR Radio Philharmonic, and the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Schmidt's chamber music collaborators are a distinguished group that includes pianist Lang Lang and violinists Gil Shaham and Isabelle Faust. Schmidt began his recording career with the album Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Violoncello, in 1999 and recorded several other albums on Sony Classical in the 2000s decade, including recordings of cello concertos by Prokofiev, Elgar, and Schumann. He and cellist Jens Peter Maintz have performed as Cello Duello, which recorded an eponymously titled album in 2010. That year, Schmidt and violinist Indira Koch founded the 26-player string ensemble Metamorphosen Berlin, naming it after Richard Strauss' 23-player string work Metamorphosen. Schmidt remains the group's conductor, while Koch serves as the artistic director. He continues to perform as a soloist and chamber music player, and with violinist Anton Barakhovsky, violist Alexander Zemtsov, and pianist Eldar Nebolsin, he issued a cycle of Brahms' piano quartets in two volumes on the Naxos label in 2016 and 2017. Schmidt was also heard in 2017 with the Mandelring Quartet on that group's recording of the Brahms string sextets. Metamorphosen Berlin was signed to the Sony Classical label and released its debut album that year, a recording of Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. That group returned in 2021 with the album Very British.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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