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Austria's Salzburg Cultural Association Appoints Violinist Benjamin Schmid as Next Musical Director

Succeeding Thomas Heißbauer, Schmid will take on the role from the 2025/26 season


The President of the Salzburg Cultural Association, Hans Schinwald, recently announced a change in musical direction for the organization. Current Music Director Thomas Heißbauer will be responsible for the program of the 2024/25 season. Starting in the 2025/26 season, violinist Benjamin Schmid will step into the role.

"In Benjamin Schmid, we have found someone who fulfills all of our wishes  — and someone who has been closely associated with our institution for decades," explained Schinwald. After intensive deliberations on the future of the cultural association and the high demands for the musical direction of the extensive concert program, a series of exploratory talks were held. "We were looking for a name known to all Salzburg residents, who knows the local cultural scene inside out, as well as being a world-renowned artist and international networker," explained Schinwald.

A prize winner at the Carl Flesch Competition in London in 1992, Schmid has appeared with renowned orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra London, the Petersburg Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Leipzig Gewandthaus Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich.

His recording output includes 50 CDs which have been honored with the German Record Prize (as the only violinist in the categories classical and jazz), the Echo Classic Prize, and Grammophone Editor's Choice.

Specifically in Salzburg, he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival as a solo partner of Sir Yehudi Menuhin in 1986, plus at the Salzburg Cultural Association the same year. He has been closely associated with the Kulturvereinigung in addition to being a regular guest at its concerts.

"As a Salzburg artist who will soon be able to look back on 40 years of continuous collaboration with the Salzburg Cultural Association, from his debut as an 18-year-old to the streaming concert in the Corona lockdown, it is a particular pleasure for me to now be able to act as artistic director and ambassador for this important Salzburg cultural institution," explained Schmid.

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