Jan Schmidt-Garre studied philosophy at the Hochschule für Philosophie der Jesuiten in Munich from 1982 to 1986 (M. A. with a semiotic thesis on Wagner's “Ring of the Nibelung”). He also studied feature film direction at Munich's Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film from 1984 to 1988.
During this time he worked as a trainee and assistant director for, among others, Rudolf Noelte, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, David Esrig, Joachim Herz and Harry Kupfer (at the Salzburg Festival, the Bayreuth Festival, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at the Dresden Opera).
He studied conducting and musical theory with Sergiu Celibidache in Mainz, Munich and Paris.
In 1988 he founded PARS MEDIA, a production company whose films have received international acclaim for its documentary and feature films focusing on music and the arts. PARS MEDIA productions have been awarded numerous prizes worldwide, among them the main prizes at the film festivals in Chicago, Paris, Monte Carlo, Columbus/Ohio, Munich and Prague as well as a nomination for the German Film Award. PARS MEDIA films have been broadcast in over thirty countries, many have been distributed theatrically and appeared on Laser Disc, VHS and DVD.
Schmidt-Garre is staging operas on a regular basis at opera companies in Germany and Switzerland.
Schmidt-Garre, a member of the German Film Academy, lectures on directing and aesthetics at (among others) the HFF in Munich and the Athanor Academy for Theater and Film in Burghausen. He is married to art dealer Philomene Magers. They have two children and live in Berlin.Aida's Brothers & Sisters
Music film, 1999, 90 Min
On DVD with Arthaus MusikBelcanto - The Tenors of the 78 Era
Music documentary series, 1996, 390 Min. Prizes at the Columbus International Film Festival and at “Classique en images”
On DVD with Medici ArtsBound
Dance film with Saburo Teshigawara, based on a short story by Ilse Aichinger, 2002, 45 Min
On DVD with Arthaus MusikBreath of the Gods - A Journey to the Origins of Modern Yoga
Documentary, 2012, 105 Min
On DVD with PARS MediaBruckner’s Decision
Feature film, 1995, 80 Min
On DVD with Arthaus MusikCelibidache – You Don't Do Anything, You Just Let It Evolve
Documentary film, 1992, 100 Min. Nominated for the German Film Award, won the Silver Medal at the Chicago International Film Festival and the Midem Classique Award
On DVD with Arthaus MusikChopin at the Opera
Film Essay, 2010, 60 Min
On DVD with Arthaus MusikFurtwängler’s Love
Film Essay, 2004, 70 Min. Awarded at "Golden Prague"
On DVD with Arthaus MusikLegato – The World of the Piano
Music documentary and concert series, 2006-08, 720 Min
On DVD with Medici ArtsLong Shot Close Up - Andreas Gursky
Art documentary, 2010, 60 Min
On DVD with Arthaus MusikMeasure – Color - Light
Art documentary, 1992, 45 MinNo More Wunderkind – Sergei Nakariakov
Music Documentary, 2004, 60 Min
On DVD with Arthaus MusikOlafur Eliasson - Notion Motion
Art documentary, 2005
On DVD with Arthaus MusikOpera Fanatic
Opera road movie, 1998, 90 Min. Prizes at the Munich International Documentary Festival and at “Golden Prague” (Czech Crystal)
On DVD with Arthaus MusikSophia – Biography of a Violin Concerto
Music Documentary with Sofia Gubaidulina and Anne-Sophie Mutter, 2008, 60 Min. Nominated for Prix Italia
On DVD with Arthaus MusikSuper Life
Documentary, 2014, 60 Min
On DVD with BelvedereThis not that - The Artist John Baldessari
Art Documentary, 2005, 90 Min.
On DVD with Arthaus MusikBel Canto - an Idea Comes of Age
Celibidache's Presence of Mind
Documents and Artefacts
Interview: My Life in Music
Interview on directing operas