Director of the International Music Institute Darmstadt (IMD)
Artistic director of the Darmstadt Summer Courses
(Picture © IMD-Archiv, Albrecht Haag)
Dr Thomas Schäfer was born in Hamburg in 1967. He studied musicology, modern German literature and philosophy at the University of Hamburg (Magister Artium 1995) and received his doctorate from the Humboldt University Berlin in 1997 with a thesis on the productive reception of Mahler in contemporary music. In 1998/99 he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Graduate College "Aesthetic Education" at the University of Hamburg (working on the "Scholastic concept of the Viennese School") and at the same time editor for New Music at the Northern German Broadcasting Corporation in Hamburg. Between 2000 and 2007 he was dramaturge for contemporary music at the Vienna Konzerthaus (where he was responsible for the programme management of the Wien Modern and Hörgänge festivals and the "generator" concert series, among others).
In 2008 Dr Thomas Schäfer was programme curator for the Wien Modern festival. In the same year he started a research project in cooperation with the Music Academy Basel and the Paul Sacher Foundation Basel on the music of Roman Haubenstock-Ramati. Since 1998 he has been programme curator for various music and performance festivals (including the Salzburg Festival, Tanzquartier Wien and the Munich Biennale for New Music Theatre). Dr Schäfer is the author of scientific articles in specialist publications as well as journalistic articles in daily and weekly newspapers. He gives lectures at conferences and symposia and is the editor of several book publications.
Since 2009 he has been the director of the International Music Institute Darmstadt (IMD) and artistic director of the Darmstadt Summer Courses.