From Naxos: “Artist of the Month – Benjamin Schmid, violin”

From Naxos

Benjamin Schmid © Lienbacher

Benjamin Schmid, a native of Vienna, has won a number of awards including the 1992 Carl Flesch Competition in London, where he also won the Mozart, Beethoven and audience prizes. Since then he has been a guest soloist in the world’s most renowned concert halls with such prestigious orchestras as the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Philharmonia Orchestra, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, Houston Symphony and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. His qualities as a soloist and his improvisatory abilities in jazz make him a violinist with a unique profile, whose repertoire comprises both well-known works and concertos by Wolf Ferrari, Gulda, Korngold, Muthspiel, Weill, Weinberg and Reger.

A number of his 50-plus CDs have won the German Record Critics’ Award (the only violinist to do so in both categories of classical and jazz), the ECHO Klassik, the Gramophone Editor’s Choice and the Strad Selection. Together with his numerous concert video recordings and TV artist portraits, his achievements document an impressive and multi-faceted 30-year concert career.

On September 13, Benjamin Schmid celebrated his 50th birthday with a gala concert at the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation. He joined forces with Lars Anders Tomter, Clemens Hagen, Ariane Haering, Wolfgang Mutspiel and Florian Eggner, presenting an impressive programme that included works from solo to orchestral by Biber, Schnittke, Mendelssohn and Berger, as well as jazz improvisations.

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Naxos Records is the world’s leading classical music label as measured by the number of new recordings it releases and the depth and breadth of its catalogue. Naxos was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born entrepreneur based in Hong Kong. Under his continuing stewardship, Naxos has developed from being known primarily as a budget label focusing on standard repertoire into a global music group comprising a raft of downloading and streaming platforms, a significant catalogue of multimedia products, a vast international logistics network, a recording engineering arm, a publications division, and a licensing department.

Naxos, the record label, has transformed into a virtual encyclopaedia of classical music with a catalogue of unparalleled depth and breadth. Innovative strategies for recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent have enabled Naxos Records to develop one of the largest and fastest-growing catalogues of unduplicated repertoire. Some 9,000 titles are currently available at affordable prices, recorded in state-of- the-art sound, both in hard format and on digital platforms. Naxos works with artists of the highest calibre and its recordings have been recognised with numerous Grammy® awards, Penguin Guide 3-star recommendations, Gramophone Editor’s Choice Awards and many other international honours.

Naxos still stays true to its original promise of offering great value. Costs are kept to a minimum by focusing on the music rather than the artist; money is not wasted on expensive artist promotions, and profits are invested into recordings of new music rather than multiple versions of standard repertoire already in the catalogue. Naxos recordings include complete cycles or cycles-in- progress of basic repertoire, such as the complete piano works of Liszt or the complete string quartets of Haydn, but the label has also introduced music lovers to many neglected composers, such as Joachim Raff, Ferdinand Ries and Simon Mayr. It has also helped to put contemporary composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki, John Corigliano and William Bolcom in reach of a much wider audience. Additionally the label continues to add to the numerous world première recordings it already has to its credit.

Naxos Records also has gained stature by pioneering groundbreaking projects like the American Classics series. Currently numbering about 200 titles, the series is set to be the most comprehensive recording project of American concert music ever attempted. Naxos is also leading the field with the landmark Naxos Historical Series. The releases in this massive restoration project are engineered by leading restoration engineers/artists. The series covers all genres of classical music as well as legends of jazz and pop music from the first half of the 20th century. Other notable Naxos series include Japanese Classics, Spanish Classics, Early Music, Organ Encyclopaedia, the Guitar Collection, and Opera Classics. The catalogue of Naxos World, a pioneering world music label, includes international music of many different cultures and genres, folk, pop and classical alike.

All this, together with the development of a range of apps and ebooks, demonstrates the Naxos commitment to providing the best possible access to recorded classical music in the world.

Naxos Records is part of the Naxos Music Group. For a comprehensive presentation of the group’s services and products, please visit

John Schaefer

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