Born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1947. Started playing drums at age 14 (1961), basically autodidact. Won first price as best drummer at the International Jazz Festival, Zürich, in 1963 at age 16. Started as professional drummer in 1965, playing with various internationally known musicians, such as : Buck Clayton, Sir Charles Thompson Jr, Don Bayas, Helen Humes, Bob Carter and others.
As of 1969, free-lancing as a jazz-drummer. He did concerts, recordings, tv-productions and festivals in various European countries with American and European musicians. 1971 joining the JAZZ LIVE TRIO of radio Zürich as permanent ‘house-drummer’. Live radio recordings till 1983 with many well known jazz artists, such as : Johnny Griffin, Dexter Gordon, Gianni Basso, Franco Ambrosetti, George Gruntz, Benny Bailey, Gunter Schuller, Art Farmer, Shahib Shihab, Slide Hampton, Jiggs Wigham, Lee Konitz, Kai Winding, Albert Mangelsdorff, Vicho Vicencio, Ferdinand Povel, Volker Kriegel, Karl-Hans Berger, Enrico Rava, Horace Parlan, Tony Scott, Idrees Sulieman, Hugo Heredia, Clifford Jordan, Eje Thelin and many others.
Between 1972 - 77 member of MAGOG, internationally respected Swiss Jazz Group, playing at many international festivals : Montreux 1972 & 74, Châteauvallon, Alassio, Bologna, Bergamo, Ljubljana, Prerov, Brno, Zürich, Willisau, Lerici and others.
1978 - 90 playing tours in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, France etc with different soloists and/or groups : Tete Montoliu trio, Horace Parlan trio, Benny Bailey quintet, Dusko Goykovich quintet, George Robert quartet, Jimmy Woode trio, Clark Terry, Deedee Bridgewater, Curtis Fuller, Sal Nistico/Rachel Gould quintet and others. 1988 programming first ‘TCB-night’ for Claude Nobs at the Montreux Jazz Festival at the ‘Q’s’ Jazzclub. 1989 participating in SwissTV-production ‘JAZZ IN’ with Cedar Walton, Gary Burton, Andy Scherrer and Marc Johnson. 1991 Founder of TCB Music, Montreux (TCB - The Montreux Jazz Label), a Swiss Jazz label, where he produced more than 350 titles (situation 2010) distributed in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, South Africa etc.
Also in 1991 world tour with the George Robert quartet (during 6 weeks in USA together with Clark Terry), touring through 13 countries (USA, Canada, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, India and the Middle East). A total of 65 concerts during 100 days for the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation (CH-91).
1992 - 93 various tours with Benny Bailey, Tom Kirkpatrick, William Evans, Clark Terry and the George Robert quartet. 1994 -2002 tours and recordings with Cojazz and Cojazz plus, Hans Kennel Group feat. Mark Soskin, Franco Ambrosetti quartet and many more. Participation again at various festivals (Montreux, Munster, Sicily, Aviliano, Fribourg etc) and concerts with Benny Golson, Alice Day, Buddy De Franco, Steve Grossman, Dusko Goykovich, Gianni Basso, Theri Thornton, Bobby Shew, Jon Davis and others. Ongoing work for TCB - The Montreux Jazz Label, releasing 10-15 new cds per year, especially supporting new talents. In 1998 receives SUISA prize for his work as a musician and jazzproducer. July 1999 programming another ‘TCB-Night’ at the Miles Davis Hall, for the Montreux Jazz Festival /Claude Nobs.
Peter Schmidlin was introduced in the 2000 edition of ‘The Biographical Enzyclopedia of Jazz’ by Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler (Oxford University Press).
2000 Preparing concept/program of ‘Swiss Jazz Club’ at Midem, worlds largest musicbusiness-gathering. He is programming and presenting the ‘Swiss Jazz Club’ at the famous Carlton Hotel (Croisette) during 5 years.
In 2001 creating (with Thierry Lang/Yvan Ischer) ‘Ollon du Jazz’, a 3 day jazz event near Montreux. Becomes member of committee of ‘SMS’ Swiss Jazz/Improvising Musicians Syndicate. 2002 becomes member of committee of SUISA Foundation of Music succeeding former member Claude Nobs.
2003 mentioned in latest edition of ‘Jazz-Lexikon’ (RoRoRo), most important Enzyclopedia of Jazz in Germany, written by Martin Kunzler. Ongoing playing with Thierry Lang Tio featuring harmonica player Olivier Ker Ourio. Concert with Franco Ambrosetti at Bergamo Jazz Festival together with Claudio Angeleri Group. Also in 2003, recording 3 CDs with Thierry Lang for the Blue Note Label including Paolo Fresu, Andy Scherrer, Didier Lockwood, George Robert and Olivier Ker Ourio (released spring 2004). 2005 tours/concerts with the Thierry Lang Trio, sometimes including George Robert or Olivier Ker Ourio or Didier Lockwood or Paolo Fresu and Andy Scherrer as guests. Invited in May 05 by the president of Czekia, Mr. Vaklav Klaus, to play in the castle of Prague and in the famous Reduta Jazz Club (which Bill Clinton made famous in 94) with the Thierry Lang Trio and George Robert. 2006 release of another Blue Note CD with George Robert, Thierry Lang and Heiri Känzig ‘Wing Span’ and various concerts in Switzerland/ Austria and Germany with same group. July 06 concert with this quartet plus saxophonist Bob Mintzer in Geneva.
2007 release of the latest CD with Thierry Lang on Blue Note ‘Dedicated to You’. Concerts and club-dates with same Trio. Concerts with Cojazz and singer Alice Day. Tour with ‘Twobones’ feat. Dado Moroni to celebrate 20 years of existence of the group ‘Twobones’. Concerts with various soloists, such as John Marshall, Ferdinand Povel, Rob Barga, Caroline & Herman Breuer and the Chuck Manning quartet plus David Lynx and Glenn Ferris and others.
In 2008 - 14 playing regularly with Cojazz Trio and Thierry Lang Trio. Performing at various Festivals and clubs with Thierry Lang and Glenn Ferris, George Robert, Paolo Frésu, Claudio Roditi, Dado Moroni, Jon Davis, Andy Scherrer and Isla Eckinger, mainly in Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Austria. After playing a series of concerts with Thierry Lang, Olivier Ker-Ourio, Stephan Kurmann and Thomas Dobler in July 2014, due to some health issues he decided to stop his musical activities.