The French violinist, Hélène Schmitt, began her violin studies at the Conservatory in Metz, finishing at the Paris Conservatory with a degree in violin and chamber music. She first started out as a chamber musician before specialising in Baroque music. She learned with Chiara Banchini the Baroque violin and historical performance practice, first in Geneva and then she followed Chiara Banchini at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. She spent there 10 years, during which she also studied basso continuo with Bøje Jesper Christensen. She has won three International Prizes :Bruggen soloists section in 1993; Van Wassenaar (Holland) in 1994; Schmelzerpreis in Melk (Austria) in 1996.
Hélène Schmitt mostly performs on European stages but also recently in Japan where she has done a solo recital tour in Spring 2008. Her musical choices, her discography and her personal inclinations are very much European orientated. She mostly plays the repertoire for solo violin of the 17th, 18th and beginning of 19th Century and the international critics are always very enthusiastic about her recordings and concerts. She shows a special interest for the Italian and German music and culture.
Over the years Hélène Schmitt has built very strong relationships with numerous musical partners such as German harpsichordist Jörg-Andreas Bötticher, French harpsichordist/organist Bertrand Cuiller, Norwegian lutenist, Rolf Lislevand, Itlalian cellist Gaetano Nasillo and lute and guitar player Eric Bellocq with whom she has done recordings and performed many concerts. In addition to her concerts activities, she is currently working with the very talented dancer and choreographer Raphaël Cottin on a special show called "Sei solo" performed for the first time in Paris in December 2008.
Hélène Schmitt is invited to perform in prestigious festivals and concert series : Oude Muziek Utrecht, Innsbrucker Festwochen Innsbruck, Festival of Saintes, Festival Bach de Lausanne, Bachfest Salzburg, Les Grandes Journées de Versailles, Ambronay, Brussels, Cologne, Festival van Vlaanderen Bruggen, Brussels Philharmonie, Folle Journée de Nantes, Concerts Parisiens, Arsenal de Metz etc
Hélène Schmitt is supported by the French label Alpha for which she has done so far 8 recordings. Her discography includes: Marco Uccellini: Œuvres pour violon (1999); J.S. Bach: pièces pour violon et basse continue (2000); Ignazio Albertini: sonates pour violon et basse continue. (2002); Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli: sonates pour violon et basse continue. (2003); J.S. Bach: Sei Solo a Violino senza Basso accompagnato - I et II. (2005); Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Sonatae a violino solo. (2007); Nicola Matteis: Ayrs for the violin (2009); Mozart and Beethoven: Sonates pour pianoforte & violon. (2011). Her recordings are regularly plaid on the European radio channels (France-Musique, Radio Classique, WDR3 or Deutschland Radio) which also regularly broadcast programs and portraits of this great artist. The National German radio Deutschland Funk has recently co-produced with Alpha her recording Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Sonatas for violin and basso continuo.
Hélène Schmitt has lived in Germany for 10 years. She is Professor of Baroque violin in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. She has also recently been invited to take part of the Jury of the prestigious International Competition Festival van Vlaanderen in Bruggen.