During his studies with Aldo Parisot at the Juilliard School in New York and with David Geringas at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt won the First Prizes at the German National Music Competition in Bonn, at the first International Adam Cello Competition in New Zealand, and at the International Music Competitions in Bayreuth and Markneukirchen. He was awarded the ‘Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris’ at the International Rostropovitch Competition in Paris and he is also a prize winner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and at the International Leonard Rose Cello Competition in the USA.
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt has performed in Europe, Russia, Asia and the USA as soloist with such prestigious orchestras as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Slovenian RTV Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Houston and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and under the batons of Charles Dutoit, Marek Janowski, Yutaka Sado, Gerd Albrecht, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jiri Belohlavek, Vassili Sinaiski, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Andrey Boreyko, Hugh Wolff, Michael Sanderling, and Gabriel Feltz.
He devotes himself to chamber music and has already performed together with such renowned artists as Lang Lang, Christoph Eschenbach, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Nicolaj Znaider, Leonidas Kavakos, Kyoko Takezawa, Miriam Fried, Edgar Meyer and David Shifrin. From 2000-2002 he was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center in New York and together with Jens Peter Maintz he forms the cello duo Cello Duello.
His first CD for Sony Classical, French Impressions, was released in autumn 2001. In 2004 he released a recording of the cello concertos of Prokofiev, followed by the Schumann and Elgar concertos in 2009. For Capriccio he recorded Bloch’s Voice in the Wilderness with the Rundfunk- Sinfonieorchester Berlin. In 2013 he won the ‘Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik’ and the Diapason d’Or for his recording of Carl Maria von Weber’s piano quartet (together with Isabelle Faust, Boris Faust and Alexander Melnikov).
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt plays on a cello made by Matteo Goffriller which previously belonged to Hugo Becker.