Benjamin Schmid was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1968. He began playing the violin in his early childhood and at eight years of age became attracted to the jazz style of Grappelli
. Schmid's first serious studies were in Salzburg and Vienna, then later at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Schmid won numerous small competitions before capturing first prize in the 1992 Carl Flesch International Competition in London. By then he had met and begun performing with both Grappelli
. With the former he appeared regularly in concerts in Vienna and Paris and, most notably, at the 1994 Salzburg Festival's opening concert.
In 2000 Schmid launched a highly successful world tour playing works by two of his favorite composers: J.S. Bach
. His schedule included concerts in New York, San Francisco, London, Vienna, and Tokyo. Though Schmid's first recordings appeared in 1996 (Paganini
's 24 Caprices and Bach: Six Solo Sonatas, both issued on MD&G), he became especially busy in the recording studio after the turn of the new century.
Most of his newer recordings have appeared on the Oehms label and include both classical and jazz releases. Among the more popular offerings are his 2004 CD of Beethoven
sonatas for violin and piano (with pianist Alfredo Perl
), the first volume in a complete cycle, and his 2007 recording, Homage á Grappelli, wherein 'Beni' Schmid performs with guitarist Edi Köhldorfer, bass player Georg Breinschmid
, and other popular jazz musicians.