Henrik Schaefer is the Music Director for The Göteborg Opera Orchestra. Henrik Schaefer was a viola player with the Berlin Philharmonic and the youngest member of the orchestra ever. At the same time he studied conducting at the Musikhochschule Leipzig. In the year 2000 he was chosen as Claudio Abbado's assistant and got numerous opportunities to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic. He conducted Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal and Mahler’s Symphony No. 7, among others.
His own conducting career began with a ballet production of The Rite of Spring with the Leipzig Ballet and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Since then he has become a sought-after Wagner conductor, and his repertoire also includes all the great Mozart operas as well as the romantic Italian and French operas. He has appeared as guest conductor at the operas in Leipzig, Rouen, Chemnitz and Seoul, Opera Hedeland, NorrlandsOperan, and the Hongkong Opera. At The Göteborg Opera, he has conducted Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart's Requiem and Die Zauberflöte.
In 2007, he was appointed Chief Conductor for Wermland Opera. Here he gained international acclaim when he conducted the five cycles of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. His opera repertoire also includes Don Giovanni, Figaro, Così fan Tutte, Eugen Onegin, Faust, La Traviata, La Bohème, Falstaff, Les dialogues des Carmelites, Hänsel and Gretel, The Flying Dutchman, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung.
As a concert conductor he has been an acclaimed and much appreciated guest with the Tokyo Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, Holland Symfonia, Sapporo Symphony, Brabants Orkest, Sendai Philharmonic, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Tokyo Metropolitan, New Japan Philharmonic, Nederlands Philharmonic, Hongkong Philharmonic and orchestras in Sweden and Nürnberg, Aalborg, Glasgow and Madrid.