Martin Schmeding is considered one of the most distinguished musicians of his generation on the organ. Since 2015, he has led an organ class at the Leipzig Academy of Music. In 2017 he was awarded Professor of the Year by the UNICUM Foundation.
Born in 1975 in Minden/Westphalia, Martin Schmeding studied church music, music pedagogy, recorder (concert exam) and organ (concert exam), conducting, harpsichord and music theory in Hanover, Amsterdam and Düsseldorf. His teachers include Ulrich Bremsteller, Lajos Rovatkay, Dr. Hans van Nieuwkoop, Jacques van Oortmerssen and Jean Boyer. During his studies he was a scholarship holder of the "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes".
After eight first prizes at the national competition "Jugend musiziert", he won prizes at the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Competition Berlin, the Pachelbel Competition Nuremberg, the Ritter Competition Magdeburg, the Böhm Competition Lüneburg, the University Competition Hannover/Mannheim, the German Music Competition Berlin, the European Competition of Young Organists Ljubljana and the Musica antiqua Competition Brugge. In 1999 he was a finalist at the ARD Competition in Munich. In addition, he has received numerous other scholarships and grants.
In 1999 he was awarded the Lower Saxony Cultural Promotion Prize.
From 1997 to 1999 he was cantor and organist at the Nazareth Church in Hanover. After that he worked at major church music venues in Germany: in 1999 he succeeded KMD Prof. Oskar Gottlieb Blarr as cantor and organist at the Neanderkirche, Düsseldorf. From 2002 to 2004, Martin Schmeding held the post of Dresden's Kreuzorganist with a tradition of over 700 years. In addition, he was titular organist of the Ludwigskirche in Freiburg from 2012 to 2016 and director of the chamber choir of the former Landeskantorat Südbaden.
After teaching positions in Hanover, Leipzig, Weimar and Dresden, he was professor of organ at the Freiburg University of Music from 2004 to 2015, succeeding Prof. Zsigmond Szathmáry. There he also directed the Institute for Church Music, which was founded on his initiative in October 2012. He held a visiting professorship at the Lucerne University of Music (Switzerland) from 2014 to 2016.
In autumn 2015, he took over the chair of Organ Performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig, one of the most traditional positions in his field, together with the direction of the "European Organ Academy". In addition, he has been Visiting Guest Professor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire since 2018. Students of his organ class have won prizes in numerous international competitions and hold important positions in churches and universities.
He has made numerous recordings for television, radio and CD (including the complete works for organ by J. Brahms, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Max Reger, Wolfgang Rihm and Franz Schmidt, the first recording of the works for pedal piano by Robert Schumann on an original instrument, the organ version of the Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach). In addition, editions of sheet music and publications in books and journals (e.g. Butz, Carus, Herder, Schott), concerts as soloist, chamber musician and with orchestra in Germany and abroad (Europe, Asia and America) and at festivals (e.g. Bach-Fest Leipzig, Thüringer Bach Festival Leipzig, Thüringer Bach Festival Leipzig, Thüringer Bach Festival Leipzig, Thüringer Bachwochen, Braunschweiger Kammermusikpodium, Merseburger Orgeltage, Niedersächsische Musik- und Orgeltage, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival), teaching at national and international masterclasses and working as a competition adjudicator (e.g. Bachwettbewerbe Leipzig und Boston, ION Nürnberg, Silbermannwettbewerb Freiberg), complete his activities as a conductor and composer.
In 2009, 2017 and 2020 he was awarded the German Record Critics' Prize (Bestenliste). By winning the "Echo Klassik 2010" as Instrumentalist of the Year, Martin Schmeding received one of the most important international music prizes for his recording "J. S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (organ version)".
In 2017, he was named Professor of the Year (Humanities and Cultural Studies) by the UNICUM Foundation (under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Education) from among more than 2000 nominees from 250 German universities.
He graduated summa cum laude in 2021 with a doctorate on the early and organ works of Wolfgang Rihm.