Rainer Schmidt studied in Hannover with Atila Aydintan, and in Cincinnati with Dorothy Delay and Kurt Sassmannshaus. He joined the Hagen Quartet in 1987 and performed in many halls and festivals all around the world. He is the founding member of the Ravinia Piano Trio.
Rainer Schmidt has taught at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg since 1988. From 2002 to 2007, Rainer Schmidt taught in the Instituto Internacional de Música de Cámara in Madrid. Since then, he teaches in the Musik-Akademie Hochschule für Musik in Basel. He is a frequent guest on juries of international competitions.
Rainer Schmidt joined the ProQuartet-CEMC professional training program in 1998.