Born in Moscow, Russia, Mikhail Shmidt began his musical education at age five and won the Concertino Prague at age 14. He graduated cum laude from Gnessin Institute of Music, where his major teachers were Hallda Akhtiamova and Valentin Berlinsky of the celebrated Borodin Quartet. While still at college, Shmidt was a member of the highly successful Gnessin String Quartet. He also played in the State Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio String Quartet, and was Concertmaster of Baroque orchestra Camerata Boccherini. Among the highlights of his chamber music activities are his collaborations with such diverse and distinguished composers and musicians as Steve Reich, John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Giya Kancheli, Paul Schoenfield, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Vadim Repin and many others.