Henrik Schaefer is the Music Director of the Opera of Gothenburg, Sweden since January 2014. This opera house is one of the leading houses in Northern Europe with it's fantastic orchestra and ensemble, one of the best choirs of Sweden and the internationally praised dance company.
At the age of 22 he joined the Berlin Philharmonic as a viola player; at that time he was the youngest member of the orchestra. At the same time he studied conducting at the Musikhochschule Leipzig, and he was chosen by Claudio Abbado as his assistant, conducting performances by the Berlin Philharmonic which included Tristan und Isolde in Tokyo, Parsifal in Salzburg and Mahler's 7th Symphony in Vienna.
His own conducting career began with a ballet production of The Rite of Spring with the Leipzig Ballet and the Gewandhausorchester. Since then he has become a sought-after Wagner conductor, and he has appeared as guest conductor at the operas in Leipzig, Rouen, Chemnitz, Seoul, the Opera Hedeland, the Norrlands Opera, the Hong Kong Opera and the Opera of Gothenburg. In 2007 he was chosen as Chief Conductor for the Wermland Opera in Sweden after a production of Parsifal. Here he gained international acclaim by conducting the entire Ring cycle 5 times in one season (all 4 operas premièred in the same week!).
He conducted numerous CD and radio recordings with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Dutch Radio Symphony, the Radio Chamber Orchestra and the orchestras in Göteborg and Karlstad.