About me

Thomas M. J. Schäfer

I was born in Schwäbisch Gmünd in 1979. In my hometown I got my first piano lessons from Michael Schefold, who also encouraged my compositional creativity for many years. My first organ teacher Bernd Büttner introduced me to the organ's sound worlds. When studying school music (for Secondary School Teachers) and church music in Stuttgart, it were Prof. Jon Laukvik, Prof. Bernhard Haas, Toshiko Yasuda-Brommer, Prof Dieter Kurz and Prof. Helmut Wolf who left their marks on me.

Subsequently, I was studying Kapellmeister with Prof. Bruno Weil in Munich and successfully completed my studies with a masterclass diploma in orchestral conducting. Further artistic and pedagogic impulses I owe to Prof. Klaus Weber.

I have been working with numerous orchestras as a conductor (including Münchner Symphoniker) and assisted in different stage productions, among others at the Staatstheater Nürnberg. From 2006 to 2008 I was musical and artistic director of the Munich chamber orchestra Philludiker, realizing several premieres. Apart from being a conductor, I work as an organist, piano accompanist and music teacher.

For the seasons 2007/2008 up to 2011, I was working as musical assistant at the Staatsoper Stuttgart in various rehearsals and premieres and was responsible for the choir rehearsals at the Junge Oper as a choral director.

Since 2008 I’ve been the mainly responsible church musician at St. Josef Böbingen as well as I've been conductor of the choral society Liederkranz 1877 e.V. Grafenberg from 2008 until 2021. Many of my compositions and arrangements have been premiered with my choirs. Missa romana - Latin Mass in Jazz is my first mass composition. It was performed for the first time in summer 2015 and was published by Carus Verlag in the following year.

I have got a teaching assignment for music and Italian at the Landesgymnasium für Hochbegabte (grammar school for highly talented pupils) in Schwäbisch Gmünd – Baden-Württemberg since 2013 where I am in charge of the main school choir as well as the chamber choir and also established a school orchestra. After having co-initiated the symphony orchestra Junge Gmünder Symphoniker, I had the honour of conducting our foundation concert.

My clarinet concerto Impressionen – Konzertante Fantasie für Klarinette und Orchester (Impressions – concertante fantasies for clarinet and orchestra) was awarded second prize at the composition contest of the Bundesmusikfest Friedrichshafen in 2001. In 2002 I received the Röttele-Preis for special cultural commitment. Since 2003 I have been working for the radio station BR Klassik (part of Bayerischer Rundfunk) as a freelance writer and composer, writing and producing radio plays and musical riddles for children.

From 2016 to 2021 I have been conducting the chamber orchestra Fellbacher Kammerorchester.

In my leisure time I am engaged in photography, I love cooking as well as playing billiards (especially snooker).