Becoming the youngest member of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1991 was just the beginning of his carreer! Next to playing viola in the orchestra he studied conducting in Leipzig from 1994 to 1998 and in 2000 he was chosen by Claudio Abbado to become his assistant with the Berlin Philharmonic.
Henrik Schaefer has just been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra in Japan.
From August 2008 Henrik Schaefer is chief conductor of the Varmlands Opera Orchestra.
His production of Parsifal with this ensemble in Karlstad has just been voted 'Best Swedish Opera Production in 2007'.
His very successful opera carrier includes Figaro (Leipzig 03 and Goteborg 07), Eugeny Onegin (Chemnitz 05), Faust (Seoul 06), Les Carmelites (Den Haag 07) and Boheme (Karlstad 08).
Since 2003 Henrik Schaefer is a regular guest with the great symphonic repertoire in Norrkoping, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Goteborg, Glasgow, Osaka, Antwerpen, Hiroshima, Torino, Stuttgart, Hilversum, Sapporo and Helsingborg.
From 2000 to 2003 as Abbado's assistant he got numerous chances to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic. Tristan, Parsifal and Falstaff are amongst the operas he led during that time as well as Mahler and Bruckner symphonies.
In 2003 Henrik Schaefer left the Berlin Philharmonic and began his conducting carrier with a new production of 'Le Sacre du Printemps' with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and the Leipzig Ballett. He was reinvited to do a new 'Figaro' and also started his international carrier.