Brian A. Schmidt is a GRAMMY©-nominated conductor with a twenty-year career focused on developing meaningful musical experiences for audiences and artists alike. Schmidt has a passion for championing unsung musical heroes past and present and is known for presenting modern premieres of rarely heard and newly discovered composers.
Schmidt founded the South Dakota Chorale in 2009, conducting and leading the organization through rapid growth and recognition. The Chorale released several acclaimed recordings which Gramophone Magazine described as “luminous,” Audiophile Audition called “stunning,” and the ensemble was hailed as “one of the most exciting choral ensembles in America” by Sounds Choral (WWFM). Their 2017 recording of Tyberg Masses, received three GRAMMY© nominations including ‘Best Choral Performance,’ ‘Best Engineered Album, Classical,’ and ‘Best Surround Sound, Classical.’ His discography includes recordings found on Pentatone, MSR Classics, Gothic Records, and Oxford University Press Music.
Schmidt served as Associate Professor of Choral Music at Baylor University and conducted the Baylor A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers, along with directing the graduate program in choral conducting. With the A Cappella Choir, they were selected to perform at conferences for the National Collegiate Choral Organization, Southwest ACDA, Texas Music Educators Association, and they won The American Prize in the Collegiate Choral Division in 2020. He is also the founder and director of the Baylor International Choral Conducting Masterclass and Young Artist Program (ICCM), an intensive summer program providing training for the next generation of young conductors that hosted guest teachers such as Martina Batic, Stefan Parkman, and Richard Sparks.
In demand as a clinician and lecturer across the United States, Schmidt most recently presented at regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), on ‘Combining Visual Arts and Choral Music’ and ‘Using Instruments with Renaissance Choral Music’.
Previously, he was conductor of the Duke Vespers Ensemble at Duke Chapel, where he also founded both a monthly Bach Cantata Series and Cappella Baroque, a professional period-instrument orchestra specializing in early music.
As a guest conductor, Schmidt has appeared with St. Jacob’s Chamber Choir of Stockholm, Phoenix Chorale, Magnum Chorum, Boston Early Music Festival, and The Rolling Stones. ACDA also selected him to represent America in the International Conductor Exchange Program in Sweden.
Schmidt studied choral music at South Dakota State University and holds a master’s degree and doctorate of music arts in choral conducting at the University of North Texas.