JoAnn Falletta’s Buffalo Philharmonic recording of Florent Schmitt’s orchestral music wins the prestigious Diapason d’Or award.

The 2020 NAXOS recording, completed just days before the COVID pandemic shuttered classical music performances across the globe, includes two colorful ballet scores along with two world premieres. Since its November 2020 release during Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary year, the NAXOS recording of four orchestral works by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under its music […]

In a concert season upended by COVID-19, Florent Schmitt’s original scoring of La Tragédie de Salomé (1907) gets its moment in the sun at last.

The 2020-21 season includes performances of the small-orchestra version in Japan, Germany and France. As is so well-known to music-lovers everywhere, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on concert-going the world over.  For too many orchestras and chamber ensembles, the entire 2020-21 season has been a total bust — or at the very least, upended […]

Israeli pianist and pedagogue Tomer Lev talks about planning and producing the new NAXOS recording of the Tombeau de Claude Debussy (1920) complete anthology.

“What stands out in Schmitt’s work is the hypnotic-impressionist atmosphere, verging on the surreal. Both the atmospherics and the piano writing … hint very strongly at Debussy’s own aesthetic world.  It creates a kind of spiritual dialogue that Schmitt conducts with his late older colleague.” — Tomer Lev, pianist and pedagogue In late 2020, NAXOS […]

Florent Schmitt and the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors

The elderly composer chaired the jury at the Besançon’s first competition in 1951. These days there’s certainly no dearth of international competitions for young and emerging conductors.  No fewer than 30 such events are open to contenders from all over the world.  Add in a number of similar competitions that are national rather than international in […]

On the occasion of Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary, Crescendo magazine publishes an interview article about the composer and his consequential artistic legacy.

As many readers of the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog are undoubtedly aware, 2020 marks the 150th birthday anniversary year for French composer Florent Schmitt.  During the course of this year, many concerts of Schmitt’s music had been scheduled — alas, too many of them having to be canceled or postponed in the wake of […]

Giving vibrant voice to powerful poetry: Florent Schmitt’s Trois Chants (1943).

French composers of the period really knew how to write vocal music.  Composers like Ravel, Debussy and Florent Schmitt were taught how to write for the human voice. — Karina Gauvin, Canadian Soprano How can one composer be so gifted at so much? — JoAnn Falletta, American Orchestra Conductor When one looks at the extensive […]

Now available: A book featuring French painter Mathieu Cherkit’s artistic creations inspired by Florent Schmitt’s longtime home in St-Cloud.

In 2018, an article was published on the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog about the French painter Mathieu Cherkit.  One of the bright stars of France’s younger generation of artists, Cherkit’s work is notable not only for its neo-primitive style that also suggests Fauvist influences, but also because of the inspiration that lies behind many […]

Five important compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2020-21 concert season by orchestras in Clermont-Ferrand, Duluth, Houston, Indianapolis, London, Lucerne, Osaka, Paris, Québec City, Rochefort, St. Louis, Saratoga Springs, Strasbourg and Tokyo.

In a classical music world turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, orchestras are bravely stepping forward in the 2020-21 concert season to commemorate French composer Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary. The international Bachtrack website is in the process of uploading its global database of classical music programs for the coming season. Although it doesn’t […]

Austrian conductor Gottfried Rabl talks about preparing and presenting the 2020 Romanian premiere performance of Florent Schmitt’s blockbuster choral composition Psalm 47 (1904).

In early March 2020, I had the opportunity to attend what turned out to be the very last public performances of Florent Schmitt’s orchestral before the Coronavirus pandemic effectively shut down classical concerts across the globe. Those concerts, presented by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of JoAnn Falletta, were noteworthy not only because the […]

Musicians Louis-Philippe Bonin, Janz Castelo and Nikki Chooi talk about Florent Schmitt’s moody, musing Légende (1918) and the three versions the composer created featuring solo saxophone, viola and violin.

On March 6 and 7, 2020, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of its music director, JoAnn Falletta, presented Florent Schmitt’s Légende, Op. 66 in concert. But it wasn’t the customary version for saxophone that the composer had created in 1918, but rather the version prepared several years later that features a solo violin. Arthur […]

Conductor JoAnn Falletta talks about preparing Florent Schmitt’s Oriane et le Prince d’Amour ballet suite (1933-34) for performance and recording.

On March 7 and 8, 2020, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of its music director, JoAnn Falletta, presented what may well be the North American premiere performances of the suite from Florent Schmitt’s ballet Oriane et le Prince d’Amour. Composed in 1933-34 for Ida Rubinstein, the famed dancer and dramatic actress who commanded […]

Florent Schmitt and Heitor Villa-Lobos: An enduring friendship anchored in music.

Throughout his lengthy career, the French composer Florent Schmitt maintained personal friendships with many of his counterparts.  He was at the center of musical life in Paris, having particularly close relationships with Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel, Gabriel Pierné, Paul Dukas, Gabriel Fauré, and numerous other French composers, in addition to helping the careers of younger […]

In Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary year, a new recording featuring the composer’s vocal music is being prepared.

Funding from Florent Schmitt aficionados around the world is being sought to help underwrite the project. As we embark on the 150th birthday anniversary year of Florent Schmitt, who was born in 1870, it is particularly gratifying to discover that this milestone is being recognized in increased programming of Schmitt’s music in Europe, North America, […]

Late bloomer? Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé (1907/10) is now making a splash with regional orchestras and student ensembles.

Of Florent Schmitt’s major compositions, undoubtedly the one that has achieved the greatest fame over the decades is the ballet La Tragédie de Salomé, which Schmitt created for the dancer Loïe Fuller who presented the hour-long “mimed drama” at the Théâtre des Arts (now the Théâtre Hébertot) in Paris in 1907. That original version of La […]

Florent Schmitt’s strikingly inventive Quartet for Trombones and Tuba (1946): Leaving the ‘oompah’ behind.

It’s quite likely that many music-lovers who know of French composer Florent Schmitt are most familiar with his “big” pieces scored for large orchestral forces, overlaid with sparkling orchestration in the grandest post-Rimsky tradition.  And it’s true that many of Schmitt’s best-known works are just those kinds of compositions — pieces like La Tragédie de Salomé, […]