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Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy


Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy is one of todays most remarkable artist discoveries of the record industry. His recordings with a broad repertoire 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), Scarlatti (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 many prizes and raving reviews in the international press.


He won top prizes 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. In another review of his Schumann CD a critic of the German Magazine Fono Forum called his playing „bursting with energy“ and compared it to Svjatoslav Richter. His newest release (Scarlatti Sonatas) have been Editor’s Choice in the prestigious magazine Gramophone.

His concerts leed 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, Miami International Piano Festival Academy, 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), Grand Canal Lang Lang International Piano Festival.

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, the Gürzenich Quartet.

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, Festival Musical Durtal), Canada (University of Alberta), China (Conservatory Beijing, Lang Lang Art World Hangzhou, Grand Canal Lang Lang Festival Zhejiang Conservatory Hangzhou), Spain (Barcelona), Finland (International Music Festival Mänttä), Thailand (Mahidol University), Germany (Tonkünstlerverband Bayern, Philharmonia Munich, University of Music Hamburg, Euro Music Festival Halle, Meisterpianisten Berlin, University of Music and Performing Arts Mannheim), Japan (AndVision Tokyo), Italy (Amiata Piano Festival, Talent Music Courses Brescia, Conservatory Vicenza), Philippines (Camerata dell Arte Foundation Manila, Opusfest), Malaysia (International Piano Festival Malaysia), Romania (Mozart Festival Cluj), South-Africa (Cape-Town and University of Stellenbosch). His theoretical work, Artistic Piano Technique“ was recently published in China. 

2010 Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy 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 Corlot, in Italy at the International Piano Academy Talent Music Courses Brescia. Between 2013 and 2016 he was working for the Lang Lang International Music Foundation as Coach in the Allianz Junior Music Camps. 2020 he has been appointed Vice Educational Director at Lang Lang Arts World in Hangzhou (China) and since 2022 he is also Educational Director at the Académie du Bout du Monde in Durtal (France).

Prof. Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy’s musical roots are broadly diversified: His musical education involves the most important traditions and schools of the 19th and 20th century.

His first teacher Prof. Alexander Sellier was a student of Walter Gieseking and Edwin Fischer. Schmitt-Leonardy also worked with Prof. Vitalij Margulis who was one of the most important representative of the Russian piano school. Another important teacher of Mr. Schmitt-Leonardy was Prof. Adrian Aeschbacher, who was himself a student of Arthur Schnabel. Schmitt-Leonardy‘s teacher and close friend Michael Ponti (one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century) studied with Gilmour McDonald who was the assistent of Leopold Godowsky and with Erich Flinsch who studied with Franz Liszt’s student Emil von Sauer. All these important musical personalities influenced Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy on his way. Furthermore, among his mentors are such important pianists e.g. Alexis Weissenberg, Olli Mustonen and Aldo Ciccolini.

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, International Piano Competition Pietro Argento (I), Grand Canal International Lang Lang Piano Competition, International Piano Competition ClaviCologne, International Piano Competition MozArte. He works for HENLE writing fingerings for their Chopin and Schumann editions. In the past 6 years his students have won more than 50 awards and prizes in International Piano Competitions in Europe, Asia and the USA. 
Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy is a “Steinway Artist“ and Patron of “Weltklassik“ which organizes more than 400 concerts to young talented pianists every year.