Steffen Schmidt is a composer based in Los Angeles, California. His scores have been a part of projects that were present at the Venice and Cannes film festivals, with a win for "Best VR Experience" at the 75th Venice Film Festival.
Steffen is a classically trained composer and musician, grew up performing with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony as a violinist and violist for over ten years. He learned how to conduct in the later half of high school and completed his higher education at Berklee College of Music in Boston with a degree in Film Scoring.
Before becoming a composer, Steffen was fascinated with the art of conducting. Studying the greats like Herbert Von Karajan, Sir Neville Marriner, and John Eliot Gardiner, he realized that conducting does not just take a certain level of mastery, but also attention to the tiniest details and being a confident leader.
Steffen's first experience conducting was conducting at a concert in Portland with the Metropolitan Youth Symphonic Band in 2007, followed by concerts on a tour in China that summer.
This is one amongst several of Steffen's favorite study material in regards to the art of conducting. Herbert Von Karajan shows how every tiny bit of expression, every detail in the musical performance and interpretation of the written score, simple or complex, is important.
Repost via Berliner Philharmoniker (Youtube
Other than being a phenomenal composer, Steffen has always been impressed with Jerry's unique approach on so many of his scores, having it be unique instrumentation or orchestration choices, to even Jerry's sense of minimalism in certain moments while reaching such intense emotion.
While not being a musical influence, Hayao Miyazaki has had a profound impact as a creative mind and role model in terms of the level of dedication he puts into his work. Aside from watching his phenomenal films, Steffen has studied various documentaries and other stories about Studio Ghibli's co-founder and has been able to learn not just about his process, but also how Miyazaki-san handles various struggles that come about during production and uses that energy to complete a project successfully.
Having grown up with video games, it is only natural that composers from that medium would be an influence. Nobuo Uematsu has been another major influence for Steffen in his ongoing journey as a composer, especially in video games. The power of melody telling a story is one of Uemastu's greatest strengths and has been the standard for Steffen to follow.
With a strong personal history and cultural attachment to South Korea, Steffen spent a year in Seoul after graduating Berklee in 2013. During his time there, he became familiar with the film & TV industry, developing relationships with filmmakers and VR developers. Working on Korean projects is always special to Steffen and has an ongoing relationship in the Korean entertainment industry and calls Seoul his "home away from home".
Since 2015, Steffen has been based in Los Angeles. He first started out as an assistant for well established composer(s) and musicians like Tina Guo, Michael Patti, and the crew at Cinesamples & Hollywood Scoring. After a couple years passed , Steffen has been working as a sole composer with his own studio.
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