Malte Schaefer is currently First Principal Violist of the State Orchestra of Mainz. He was born in Bochum, Germany where he was introduced to the violin at the age of three. Professional studies led him first to Düsseldorf, where he was accepted into the studios of Prof. Helga Thoene and Prof. Rosa Fain at the Robert Schumann School of Music. He additionally received private instruction on the viola with Ullrich Hartmann and Ulrich Fritze.
At the age of 24, Malte Schaefer was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, where was taught by Prof. Wilfried Strehle, Prof. Walter Küssner, and Prof. Wolfram Christ. As part of the program, he also performed as a substitute member of the orchestra under the batons of conductors including Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Georg Solti, Mariss Jansons, Günter Wand, and Seiji Ozawa.
Malte Schaefer served as Assistant Principal Viola at the State Orchestra of Braunschweig from 1997-2000 and as a member of the Bamberberger Symphoniker from 2000-2001. In 2001, he won the position of Principal Viola in the State Orchestra of Mainz, one of the oldest orchestras in the world with a tradition stretching over 500 years. As a guest soloist, Malte Schaefer has concertised extensively in Europe, as well as on tour in North and South America and in the Caribbean. Notably, he has performed Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra already 27 times with various ensembles.
Besides his work as a soloist, chamber-, and orchestra musician, Malte
Schaefer has worked for the Wittner Brand in Germany developing modern technologies for string instrument equipment and accessories. A connoisseur of all genres of music, Malte Schaefer is also a trained and prolific singer of Jazz and Chanson, and performs regularly on concert series at the State Theater of Mainz and in the region.
Malte Schaefer plays a viola by the Japanese/American luthier Hiroshi Iizuka.