Johannes Schlaefli


Guest conductor from Switzerland

The Swiss conductor and pedagogue Johannes Schlaefli began musical life as an oboist and developed his conducting technique through largely autodidactic study and through courses and assistantships with the likes of Erich Schmid, Mario Venzago, Leonard Bernstein, David Zinman and Bernard Haitink.

He served as music director of the Basel Chamber Orchestra for fifteen years, beginning his tenure in 1984, and was Principal Conductor of the Berner Kammerorchester from 1995-2012.  Currently he directs the orchestral ensembles at the University of Zurich and, as of the 2013-2014 season, he is Principal Conductor of the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim.

As guest conductor he has appeared internationally with orchestras such as Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, Prague Philharmonia, Kammerorchester Basel, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the Sao Paulo Symphony.

As a conducting pedagogue he has developed a distinguished name, both as Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste and through his international masterclass series. This has resulted in guest teaching engagements at the Universität für Musik und dastellende Kunst Wien, the Royal Northern College of Music Manchester, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin and the Deutsche Dirigentenforum Ithaca College.