Stephan Schmidt, since 2012 director of the Musik Akademie Basel, is a German classical guitarist, considered one of today’s most innovative performers.
After his studies with Luis Martin-Diego, Alberto Ponce and Manuel Barrueco, became interested in the composer Maurice Ohana, in particular his music for the ten-string guitar. The complete recordings of Ohana’s music for solo guitar earned him several international awards.
Well known for his performances of masterpieces by J.S. Bach and contemporary composers, such as Helmut Lachenmann and Brian Ferneyhough, his repertoire also includes collaborations with musicians of various styles and backgrounds, like Pedro Bacan (flamenco guitar), Fred Frith (electric guitar), Ivan Monighetti (Cello), Elisabeth Chojnacka (harpsichord), Juliane Banse (voice), Heinz Holliger (Oboe), Mats Scheidegger (guitar), David Moss (voice-performance) and many others.
In 2013 he performed a new guitar concerto written for him by the composer Chaya Czernowin at the Lucerne Festival, Switzerland.