Music is the only language that everybody understands.
Founded in January 2000, Konzertbüro Nikolaus Schmidt sees itself as smoothing the way for musicians and individualists wishing to use the services of a small office for securing engagements, negotiating fees, conducting correspondence and handling the logistics involved in their international concert activities. The core activity of Konzertbüro Nikolaus Schmidt consists of promoting outstanding string soloists and chamber music ensembles. The agency also represents several conductors and pianists. Those musicians opting to be represented by the agency receive personal attention and support on questions related to the strategic development of their activities on the concert platform. Prompted by the idea that 'Small is beautiful', an artists' roster of manageable size enables the agency to represent artists individually, just as they desire and require, with concert promoters and the media. The services provided on the traditional basis are those of an agent or somebody who would today be termed a diplomat. The agency sees itself as functioning as the musicians' attorney, while also providing certain services on their behalf.
The agency also offers part-time placements as well as spells of career experience for students of culture management with a good knowledge of the repertoire whose interests lie first and foremost in the field of classical music.
Born on October 6th 1966 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld, Nikolaus Schmidt witnessed his first performance of opera when he was five, and at six he attended a concert by a full symphony orchestra for the first time. His habit of listening to concerts was soon superseded by his own activities in learning the cello, the piano and the clarinet. Ever since he was 14, he has been attending over 100 concerts of classical music every year, developing a fine, self-taught sense of what constitutes quality.
Schmidt received substantial input on questions of interpretation and performing practice from his friend Rainer Clute, a radio drama producer with RIAS Berlin at the time, and later from Andreas von Arnauld, a friend and a lawyer who is also a composer. Nikolaus Schmidt studied musicology in Hamburg from 1987 onwards, supplementing this for five years from 1991 by working part-time as a consultant and salesman in a Hamburg store specialized in Classical music sound carriers. He used this period primarily to enlarge his knowledge of the repertoire.
A detour involving various placements in opera houses - among others with Harry Kupfer at the Komische Oper Berlin, with Kurt Horres at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and later with the artistic direction of the Düsseldorf Symphonic Orchestra - led to a period on the staff of Konzertdirektion Dr. Rudolf Goette in Hamburg from 1995 onwards. It was there that Schmidt discovered that he could ideally combine his love of music and musicians with his organizational skills and his talents as a communicator, and opted for the profession of artist's agent. Initially employed for two years on an assistant's duties, in 1998 Nikolaus Schmidt took over management for numerous musicians, among them the Auryn Quartet, the Hagen Quartet, Nelson Freire, Isabelle van Keulen, Boris Pergamenschikov and Marcello Viotti. He subsequently engaged other groups, conductors and soloists for Konzertdirektion Dr. Goette. After four apprentice years as an employee, he founded Konzertbüro Nikolaus Schmidt in Hamburg in 2000.
Among Schmidt's personal household gods are composers Anton Bruckner, Antonin Dvorák, Leos Janácek, Dmitri Schostakovich, Franz Schubert and Jean Sibelius. The experience of concerts by Claudio Arrau, Arturo Benedetti-Michelangeli, Leonard Bernstein, Sergiu Celibidache, Antal Dorati, Carlo Maria Giulini, Ida Haendel, Vladimir Horowitz, Carlos Kleiber, Nathan Milstein, Jevgeni Mravinski, Václav Neumann, Eugene Ormandy, Rudolf Serkin and Günter Wand made an abiding impression on him. Taking pride of place among his favourites in today's concert life are those artists for whom he himself is active.
In the orchestral field, some idea of the range of Schmidt's personal preferences is conveyed by mention of the art and work of conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Lorin Maazel, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov and Michael Tilson-Thomas. One of the pastimes he loves most is to listen to and collect historic recordings. His admiration and affection for the innovations of Leopold Stokowski, the musical intensity of Dimitri Mitropoulos and the feeling for sound of Sir John Barbirolli know no bounds. Apart from extending his the compass of his knowledge of music of virtually all cultures and styles, he is especially interested in literature, the cinema and writing.
Konzertbüro Nikolaus Schmidt | Ifflandstraße 82 | 22087 Hamburg | Tel. +49.40.39 50 39 | Mobil +49.179.2085829 | firstname.lastname@example.org