Questions for Mr. Benjamin Schmid


  1. Please tell me a bit about your attitude to classical music: what made you take this path of a professional violinist? Any memorable event (perhaps from your current activity) that you feel like sharing with my readers?

Reply:  Classical music reflects on how beautiful this world could be.

            I chose the violin because I felt I can share my world with everybody else in the most beautiful way.

Listening to good music puts me in a state of effortless enthusiasm about life.


  1. Is it your first time with Israel NK Orchestra? How did you met and decided to join forces? Have you played before in Israel?

Reply:   I had a tour with the NKO about 15 years ago with the Paganini Concerto, and now through my dear collegue Christian Lindberg I am very happy to come back, hopefully matured!  Been to Israel a few times playing, but it is all too long ago and about time to rejoin, because  I love Israel and its musical life.



  1. You are going to play the Beethoven concerto: why is it, historically, that great composers of the Romantic era such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven himself (somewhat in the end of the Classical era) wrote only one concerto for this instrument? Were there any artistic reasons for that? Please include references to the Beethoven Concerto in your reply.

Reply:  All of the above composers were pianists and compressed all their violinistic fantasies into just one concerto, although there is as well a Brahms Double Concerto, a Schumann Fantasie, a second Mendelssohn Violinconcerto in d minor (great!), several Pieces by Tschaikowsky for Violin and Orchestra, the Beethoven Triple and Romances.

And Beethoven revolutionized the whole concept of a Violin Concerto so far: 1 st Mouvement already longer than most of the existing whole Concertos, Violin coming in on a Dominant  Cadenca, Solo instrument to embellish the Orchestra lines widely (in fact, it is a bassoon Concerto),  A heavenly second Mouvement that never modulates out of a perfect G major world, A rondo theme that is repeated 14 times…. all new.



  1. Another composition you are about to play is the BWV 1043. Unlike a "regular" violin concerto, here you play with a second soloist. What are the qualities of this piece in your opinion? Is there any place for adding trills and ornamentations beyond those already found in the score? Improvisations? Here you can add a bit about your love for jazz improvisations (personally, I always thought of Bach as one of jazz forefathers).


Reply:  I played Bachs Double Concerto with Yehudi Menuhin in my Salzburg Festival Debut in 1986 – 30 years ago. Since then  - especially the second Mouvement for me is an almost never ending wave of beauty. I don’t think that this piece needs a lot of additional ornaments or improvisations  - although I can imagine wonderful arrangements and improvisations with the material – but on a different plate. I did this (Bach Violin works, not the double Concerto) on my CD “Bach:Reflected” , which uses many Bach materials to improvise and arrange. Bach definitely is the founder of the “walking bass”, modal jazz (with his eminent pedal points), a sarabande can be as expressive as a blues, and the harmonies of a Gigue look like a Jazz standard : I guess I have to bring that CD to Israel!