Cellist, won several 1st prizes as for example the the „National Youth Competition for Music Germany“. In 2007 he was the first musician receiving a scholarship for being jr. student at the University of Music in Hamburg with Clemens Malich. 2009 he began his studies with Reinhard Latzko at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and continues them in Heinrich Schiffs well-acclaimed class since 2013.
Masterclasses with the Alban Berg Quartet, Guarneri Quartet and lessons with Eberhard Feltz shaped the artistic identity of his quartett, which already has a lively schedule, e.g. at the „Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival“, „Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern“, „Rheingau Musikfestival“, „Podium Festival Esslingen“, „Musikfest Stuttgart“. Chamber music partners were e.g. the Gewandhaus Quartet, Martin Stadtfeld and Daniel Müller-Schott.
Radio productions at the german radiostations like:SWR, NDR and WR are documenting the level of his performances as a soloist and with his quartet.He was solo-cellist in the National Youth Orchestra of Germany and in 2013 he was invited to become a member of Claudio Abbados Orchestra Mozart in Bologna, Italy. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna are other Orchestras in which he appears regularly.
Tell us about the V E.
In my eyes the VE is a possibility for us young musicians to try out a fresh way of music making and a chance to create our own concepts, programs and approaches to well known music as well as to music that is too less heard and played.
Tell us about your collaboration with the V E.
I had a great time playing both of Joseph Haydn’s cello concertos with the VE! Also I was happy to see that already a small group of motivated young string players can create enough energy to fill a score of a dramatic opera excerpt, normally played by a full symphony orchestra, giving a singer the proper background and musical opponent.
What does the "city of vienna" mean for you?
To be honest: It was quite challenging to really arrive here at the beginning, being one out of hundreds of other musicians (or even cellists) that study, play and live in this city. But Vienna became my new hometown and now I couldn’t think of a better place to “grow up” musically, having so many opportunities to listen and play and also to connect with interesting people that also want to be in the city of Beethoven and Brahms, to give only two names..
Does one always have to perform Mozart, Schubert and Brahms in Vienna?
Of course not! -There is much more music worth to explore. But on the other hand it’s hardly possible to play and listen to the works of those three composers you named too long or too much..
With which composer would you like to go for a coffee?/ Which
composer would you have liked to go for a coffee with?
I can’t decide between Haydn and Prokofiev, Haydn because his time feels so far away that I find it especially difficult to find an authentic style and approach his music and the music of his time in general. Prokofiev has such a huge imagination and variety in his works that I would just love to meet the person behind the art.
What was your finest moment on stage?
My last concert I played under Claudio Abbado. It was also the last concert where he conducted the Orchestra Mozart. We played Prokofievs “symphonie classique” and a Mozart piano concerto in the Salle Pleyel in Paris. It was one of the concerts with the most magical moments I experienced, whether it was Radu Lupu in the slow movement of the Mozart or Abbado’s incredible way of forming every phrase in the Prokofiev.
Do you play an instrument?
Yes, the piano.
Where would you most like to perform?
If they would manage to finish the building soon, I would really like to play in the new “Elbphilharmonie” in my hometown Hamburg.
With whom would you ideally like to collaborate?
Chamber music with one of the incredible Pianists Martha Argerich or Leif Ove Andsnes!
Which work would you like to play?
I haven’t played Edward Elgar’s cello concerto yet, so that is definitely one of the works I want to
Can music change the world?
Just look at “el sistema” in Venezuela where day by day music saves young people from criminality and violence; just one example that music and art in general can change a lot.
Leo Schmidt - Interview - January 2014