Schmidt, Franz

Music in Print

Born in Pressburg, at the time part of Hungary, Schmidt is one of the last great late-Romantic composers. Having shown an early talent as a pianist, he moved to Vienna to study piano, cello and composition and the Conservatoire. His working life was spent as a cellist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra from 1896 to 1911 and as a teacher. He was a Professor of Theory and Piano at the Hochschule für Musik and eventually became Principal of the school. In 1935, he relinquished his teaching posts to dedicate his remaining years to composition. His works include symphonies, oratorios, operas, instrumental pieces for organ and piano and several chamber works, most notably the Piano Quintets he wrote for the one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein (for whom Ravel wrote his Concerto for the Left Hand).