Hansjörg Schellenberger was born in Munich, Germany, in 1948 and grew up near Regensburg. His early musical exercises on the practically obligatory recorder were followed by his initial instruction in oboe with the solo oboist of the Regensburg City Theater. Only four years later, in 1965, the young musician was victorious at the Jugend musiziert German national competition. This success was followed by a summer stay at the international music camp in Interlochen, Michigan, where Schellenberger participated in a competition for young talents and immediately also won the first prize.
After his Abitur school-leaving examination in 1967 Hansjörg Schellenberger initially pursued two educational paths with his concurrent study of oboe and mathematics. Two years later music had gained the upper hand. By now twenty-one years old, Schellenberger became an oboe pupil of Manfred Clement and was instructed in conducting by Jan Koetsier. After concluding his training and a one-year master class Schellenberger became an oboist in the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra on 1 September 1971 and subsequently advanced to the post of its solo oboist in 1975. He concurrently pursued further studies under Helmut Winschermann (oboe) and Martin Stefani (conducting) at the Detmold College of Music. In September 1977 Schellenberger regularly began assisting in the series of the Berlin Philharmonic, which made him its solo oboist three years later.
During all these early years Hansjörg Schellenberger had already distinguished himself on the national and international level with numerous awards and activities. He was the winner in oboe at the German Music College Competition in 1971, and the second prize at the ARD Competition in Munich followed in 1972. Various Bavarian and North Rhine-Westphalian culture prizes were also bestowed on him. He began ten years of teaching at the Berlin College of the Arts in 1981, and from 1985 to 1998 he organized summer courses at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena on an annual basis. In 1983 he was among the founders of the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, and in 1991 he founded the Berlin Haydn Ensemble. During all his “philharmonic years” in Berlin (1980-2001) he was active as an oboe teacher at the orchestra academy of “his“ orchestra, which he also served in a managerial capacity in the field of sound and television productions from 1983 to 1997.
While Hansjörg Schellenberger continued to appear both as a chamber musician and a soloist with many outstanding colleagues and conductors of the rank of Herbert von Karajan, Carlo Maria Giulini, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, and Claudio Abbado, his own orchestral conducting gradually returned to the foreground. After a concert series with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto in 1995 he received constant new conducting offers: the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta de Valencia, and Orchestra of the Florentine Maggio Musicale were among the ensembles with which he performed so successfully during the following years that his departure from the ranks of the Berlin Philharmonic was evidently only a matter of time – and also a proper question to consider, as developments of the most recent past have shown. The Camerata Salzburg, Spanish National Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo, Orchestra Verdi from Milan, German Radio Philharmonic of Saarbrücken-Kaiserslautern, and many other top-quality orchestras have regularly welcomed Hansjörg Schellenberger as their guest conductor.
Hansjörg Schellenberger was appointed chief conductor of the Okayama Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2013. This contract, recently extended until 2022, offers him not only the opportunity to improve the orchestra further but also to continue to develop the local musical scene and work with young people.
Hansjörg Schellenberger’s cooperation with his wife, the excellent harpist Margit-Anna Süß, in chamber performances and on the concert stage is also of central artistic importance to him. For more than twenty years this »family business« has formed a very sought-after duo and has acquainted music fans at countless German performance venues and on many international tours with special repertoire gems. In the last years several concerto tours took them to Japan.
Since 2000 he has had a small and very select oboe class at Europe’s only purely privately-run school of music, the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid, where he also teaches the chamber music classes for the wind players of the school’s International Institute for Chamber Music. This arrangement comes under the patronage of the Queen of Spain and is supported by the Fundación Albéniz, which was founded by Paloma O’Shea, one of Spain’s most influential women.
The artist has demonstrated his work as a musician on more than fifty CDs with all the major recording firms. Moreover, 1997 he founded his own label, Campanella Musica, on which he himself is represented with works by composers such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven as well as with a French baroque program and various works by modern classical composers.
Hansjörg Schellenberger and his wife Margit-Anna Süß live in the Chiemgau Alps with their four children.