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Presenter: Prof. Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy

Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy is one of todays most remarkable artist discoveries of the record industry and sought-after, rave reviews. His recordings by Schumann (Symphonic Etudes, Toccata, Carnaval, Nachtstücke, Klavierstücke, Intermezzi), Mendelssohn (Capriccios, Scherzi, Fantasies, Kinderstücke, Variations sérieuses, Capriccios, Perpetuum mobile etc.), Brahms (Variations on a theme by Paganini-, Schumann, Handel, Brahms himself and Hungarian theme), Chopin (24 Preludes, 4 Impromptus, 4 Ballades, 3 Sonatas), the world premier recording of Warenberg/Rachmaninoff (Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Symphony), Kabalevsky (Sonatas and Preludes), Tschaikowsky (1st concerto) and Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue) received countless prizes and raving reviews in the international press.

 

"What’s most striking about Schmitt-Leonardy’s pianism is its vibrancy and immediacy“ (Fanfare). Music critics e.g. Peter Cossé, Ingo Harden, Knut Franke, Jed Distler, Jeremy Siepman, Ates Orga and established Magazines e.g. American Record Guide, Fono Forum, BBC Music Magazine, Diapason, Piano, Klassik heute, Piano News, PIANO (GB) and PIANO (F) describe Schmitt-Leonardy‘s interpretations as „astonishing, exquisit“, "breathtaking“, "electrifying“, "dazzling brilliant, as well as grippingly independent“. They praise his "interpretive sophistication, depth and originality“, "his intellectual power, virtuosity, combined with a Classicist’s sense of proportion“, "his multi-hued tonal palette which abjures only the ugly, and his propulsive rhythmic vocabulary“.

He won top pizes in International Piano Competitions e.g. the International Rachmaninoff Competition, the Walter Gieseking Competition and has been elected Upcoming Artist of the year by the German Magazine Fono Forum. The Pianists Encyclopedia Pianisten-Profile points out Schmitt-Leonardy‘s "artistic authority and singular musical consequence“ and Knut Franke one of the most respected critics of our time compared Schmitt-Leonardy‘s "sovereign culture of sound“ with Vladimir Horowitz. The Magazine Piano News praised his Chopin recordings and compared his playing with Krystian Zimerman and Grigory Sokolov.

His concerts lead him to prestigious concert halls and international festivals e.g. Berlin Philharmonic Hall, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Festival White Nights (Russia), Berliner Festwochen, International Piano Festival Miami, Amiata Piano Festival, Munich Residenz, Teatro Olimpico Vicenza, Forbidden City Concert Hall Beijing, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Kilburn Concert Series Canada, Opera Houses of Hanoi and Alexandria, International Piano Festival Malaysia, Philharmonic Halls of Ljubljana, Perm (GUS), Timisoara, Brasov, Cluj and Sibiu (RO), Poznan and Waldenburg (PL), Philharmonia Bangkok, Adrienne Arsht Center of the Arts (USA), International Music Festival in Kemiö (FI), Rittersaal Mannheim, Festival Musical Durtal (F), Festival in Ribadesella (Spain).

As soloist he played with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Symphoniker, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Hungarica, RTV Orchestra Slovenia, Philharmonia of the Nations and many others.

Chamber music partners are the Philharmonia Quartet Berlin, the Melos Quartet, the Amati Quartet, the Rodin Quartet, Ingolf Turban (Violin), Pavel Vernikov (Violin), Tuncay Yilmaz (Violin), Ramon Jaffé (Cello), Guido Schiefen (Cello), Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (Cello), Dimitri Maslennikov (Cello), Georg Friedrich Schenck (Piano) and Maurizio Baglini (Piano).

As one of the most sought-after pedagogues of our times he regularly gives Masterclasses in Austria (Konzertverein Wien), Poland (Chopin Institute Warsaw), Russia (Philharmonia Perm), France (Festival International de Musique Dinard), Canada (University of Alberta), China (Conservatory Beijing), Spain (Barcelona), Thailand (Philharmonia Bangkok), Germany (Tonkünstlerverband Bayern, Philharmonia Munich), Italy (Amiata Piano Festival, International Piano Academy Pinerolo, Conservatory Vivenza), Philippines (Camerata dell Arte Foundation Manila), Malaysia (International Piano Festival Malaysia), Romania (Mozart Festival), and founded an educational and mentoring program for extraordinary talented piano students the WSL-Masterclass. His theoretical work Artistic Piano Technique“ was recently published in China.

2010 he was offered a full-time professorship at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich where he worked for 7 years, in 2016 he was offered a full-time professorship at the University of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin and in 2017 he was offered a full-time professorship at the University of Music and Performing Arts Mannheim where he works since then. Besides his work at German Universities he is also Visiting Professor in France at the prestigious École Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, in Italy at the International Piano Academy Brescia and for the Lang Lang International Piano Foundation, New York (USA).

He serves as jury member in many important international piano competitions e.g. the IGPA (Chairman of the International German Piano Award since 2011), International Piano Competition Epinal (F), International Piano Competition Thailand, Clavicologne, MozArte, International Piano Competition Pietro Argento (I). His students have won countless awards and prizes in international piano competitions. Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy is a "Steinway artist“.