»principal organist« Christian Schmitt
Our "Principal Organist" Christian Schmitt has long been one of the most sought-after artists of his guild worldwide. He regularly performs in the world's most important concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Suntory Hall, the Vienna Musikverein, the Gewandhaus Leipzig or the Maison Symphonique Montréal. He works with conductors and soloists such as Sir Simon Rattle, Philippe Herreweghe, Jakub Hrůša, Marek Janowski, Cornelius Meister, Manfred Honeck, Thomas Hampson and Michael Volle.
Recent highlights include his debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, performances with the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Japanese premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's "Embrace - Light and Shadow" with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. In 2021 Christian Schmitt also took over the professorship for artistic organ playing at Codarts University in Rotterdam and inaugurated the new organ as "Artist in Focus" of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich under the direction of Paavo Järvi. In 2023 he celebrated his debut at Carnegie Hall New York under Dennis Russell Davies. In 2024 his agenda includes his first collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra Warsaw and a return invitation to Walt Disney Hall Los Angeles.
Christian Schmitt has been curating our organ series since 2014 and has repeatedly brought the greats of his field and promising young organists to Bamberg. In his 10th season, he welcomes Adriaan Hoek (assistant organist at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam), Amelie Held (youngest finalist in the history of the renowned Concours International d'Orgue de Chartres), Cameron Carpenter (the first organist with a Grammy nomination) and Ben van Oosten (titular organist of the Grote Kerk in The Hague). Schmitt himself will be in Bamberg as soloist at our opening concert of the season in September. In February, together with musicians from our orchestra, he will perform Andrea Tarrodi's "Poseidon" for organ and percussion as a Bamberg premiere, a composition commissioned by the Cologne Philharmonie- KölnMusik, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonie Luxembourg and the Vienna Konzerthaus.
He and his guests will have a four-manual organ from the house of Georg Jann at their disposal in the Joseph Keilberth Hall, which was completely overhauled in 2018.