Schimmel is a virtuoso accordionist, author, philosopher and composer.
He is one of the principle architects in the tango revival in America,
the resurgence of the accordion and the philosophy of Musical Reality
(composition with pre-existing music). He received his diploma from
the Neupauer Conservatory of Music and his BM, MS and DMA degrees
from the Juilliard School. He has taught at the Juilliard School
, Brooklyn College CUNY, Upsala College , Neupauer Conservatory
(dean) and has lectured on accordion related subjects at Princeton
, Columbia , Brandeis, University of Missouri , Duke University
and the Graduate Center CUNY.
Regarded as the world's greatest accordionist by National Public
Radio, he has performed with virtually every major symphony orchestra
in America (and the Kirov ) including a longstanding relationship
with the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as virtually every chamber
music group in New York including Ensemble Sospeso and the Odeon
Jazz Ensemble. Pop star colleagues range from Sting to Tom Waits,
who has made the legendary statement: Bill Schimmel doesn't
play the accordion, he is the accordion. He is founder of
the Tango Project, which, in addition to his hit recordings with
them, has appeared with Al Pacino in the film: Scent of a Woman,
for which Pacino won an Oscar.
The Tango Project also won the Stereo Review Album of the Year Award,
received a Grammy nomination and rose to number I on the Billboard
Classical Charts. He can be heard in other films including True
Lies, Kun Dun and .many others including films that he both scored
and performed and a series of films for the Nature Conservancy which
have won numerous prizes in documentary categories.
He is an authority of the music of Kurt Weill, having recorded all
of Weill's music that employs the accordion.
He is a prolific composer with many commissions from concert music
to Broadway and off-Broadway. He has written countless accordion
pieces for himself and others including a test piece for the Coupe
Mondiale, the accordions' most prestigious world competition.
His Portrait No I for orchestra was conducted by the late Leopold
Dr. Schimmel's theatre works in collaboration with Micki Goodman
have made accordion history.
He now heads the
Neupauer Conservatory Order of the Shield program,
a private studies program for gifted students on a graduate and
post graduate level. he conducts a successful three day master class
and concert series sponsored by the American
Accordionists' Association (where he is distinguished lecturer
in residence) moving into its tenth season. The Confederations International
of Accordionists have awarded Dr. Schimmel the distinguished merit
award for the AAA Master Class and Concert Series as well as his
contribution to the international accordion scene.
has sited Dr. Schimmel as best accordionist and the
figure who has done the most to promote the accordion in mainstream
art forms including classical, jazz, rock and roll, world music
Dr. Schimmel, and
his wife, choreographer, director, filmmaker Micki Goodman co-founded
and co- directs the Institute for Private Studies, a pluralistic
think-tank. They have a 23 year old son, Michael, an accordionist
and visual artist---and a Special Olympics gold medal winner.