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 […]

Investigating the mystery – and promise – of Florent Schmitt’s “Poèmes des lacs” (Les Barques, Demande, Musique sur l’eau, Soir sur le lac, Tristesse au jardin — 1897-1901)

Recently, two documents have emerged that point to the existence of a long-forgotten grouping of Florent Schmitt’s mélodies that can stand alongside the song cycles of fellow-French composers Henri Duparc, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Maurice Delage and Louis Aubert. The grouping of Florent Schmitt mélodies carries the umbrella title “Poèmes des lacs,” and some details […]

Florent Schmitt’s affectionate tribute to Frédéric Chopin: Le Chant de la nuit (1949/51).

Recently, audio documentation one of Florent Schmitt’s most interesting (and elusive) choral compositions has emerged – and it’s come from an unlikely source.  It is a 1987 live performance of Schmitt’s Le Chant de la nuit, Op. 120, a work that carries the subtitle Ode à Frédéric Chopin.  The performance is by the Chiba University […]

Just released: A new recording of four Florent Schmitt orchestral works with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

The new NAXOS release features two iconic ballet suites along with two world premiere recordings. Back in 2015, a recording of the music of Florent Schmitt on the NAXOS label, performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its music director, JoAnn Falletta, was a noteworthy artistic and commercial success.  Today, these same musical forces are […]

Florent Schmitt is featured as BBC Music Magazine‘s Composer of the Month in its September 2020 issue.

Composer of the Month designation coincides with the commemoration of Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary. BBC Music Magazine has honored French composer Florent Schmitt as its Composer of the Month for September, 2020.  The coverage ties together with activities commemorating the 150th birthday anniversary of the composer, who was born in Blamont, Lorraine on September 28, […]

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 […]

Scottish composer Alistair Hinton talks about the influential artistry of Florent Schmitt.

“Florent Schmitt’s artistic legacy is of such importance that his work deserves all the exposure it can get. Once it has done so, it’s no exaggeration to say that the history of French music in the 20th century will have been rewritten.” — Alistair Hinton, composer and music scholar One of Florent Schmitt’s most ardent […]

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 […]

Florent Schmitt looks to the France of antiquity: Quatre poèmes de Ronsard (1941).

In May 1924, a new edition of the French magazine La Revue musicale hit the newsstands — one that was devoted to the artistic legacy of Pierre de Ronsard, among the most celebrated poets in all of French literary history. The brainchild of Henry Prunières, founder and editorial guiding light of the magazine, the May […]

Just Announced: Prisma String Trio to make a new recording of Florent Schmitt’s extraordinary Trio a cordes (1944).

It will be just the third time the work has been commercially recorded — and the first one in more than three decades. Among French composer Florent Schmitt’s extensive chamber music creations are a string trio and string quartet that he composed during the waning days of World War II and immediately following. It was […]

Florent Schmitt takes a breather: Petites musiques for solo piano (1906).

Within the extensive catalogue of compositions by Florent Schmitt are a great many works for piano – including solo, duet and duo-pianist pieces. Most of this output dates from the composer’s early years of creativity from about 1890 to the mid-1920s, although several additional sets of solo piano pieces would be published in the runup […]

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 […]

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, […]