Being a talented pianist Brahms often improvised on the instrument. From the extensive body of works written for the piano by Brahms, Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy has chosen all five sets of variations. This music shows the composer in all his different appearances: from simple lines and texture to almost bombastic bravura. Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy is one of the leading pianists of his generation. At university he passed all his examinations with highest distinction and since he was a child he has been winning an impressing amount of top-prizes in international piano competitions throughout the world. He constantly expands his worldwide concert activity.
During his studies he was awarded highest prizes, eg. in the Walter Gieseking Competition (1987), the International Piano Competition Carlo Soliva (1988), the European Music Competition Torino (1991), the International Piano Competition Sergej Rachmaninoff (1993), the International Piano Competition Mazara del Vallo (1994) and the International Piano Competition Pietrà Ligure (1998). Furthermore he has twice been awarded the culture prize of the municipality Schwalbach (1987/1989), the "fine arts-scholarship" of the federal state Saarland (1994) and the culture prize of the district Saarlouis (1997).
In addition he has performed in renowned concert halls and on the occasion of international festivals, eg. the Philharmonia Berlin, the Philharmonia St Petersburg, the "Berlin Festwochen", "White Nights" St Petersburg, the "Internationale Musiktage im Dom zu Speyer", the Musikfestspiele Saar, the "Mozartfest Schwetzingen", the "Moselfestspiele", "Kultursommer Südhessen", "Alexandria Opera House" and "Manasterly Palace Kairo" (Egypt), "Philharmonic Hall Poznan" (Poland), the "International Mozart Festival Romania", the "East-West-Festival Poland", the Saarbrücken congress Hall, the Mettlach chamber music festival, the "International Piano Festival Malaysia", the Stuttgart Marmorsaal, "Sylt in concert", the Musiksommer Chorin, in Bayreuth, the Opusfest (Philippines) and additionally an impressive number of international engagements such as concerts in France, Austria, Switzerland, Finnland (Kemiö Festival), Slovenia (RTV Symphony Orchestra Slovenia), Jordania, Luxemburg, Romania, Philippines (CCP Manila), Italy (Amiata Piano Festival, Festivals in Venezia, Cagliari, Nora, Nuoro, Merano, Bolzano, Siracusa, Iglesias)
In his playing Schmitt manages to unravel complex structures without destroying them. His performances are attractively light and transparent with a wide range of colours.