Stefanie Schumacher is an acclaimed accordionist, renowned for her emotionally expressive style that distinguishes her multifaceted concert and stage career. Born 1976 in Müllheim near Freiburg, Germany, she belongs to the younger generation of accordionists who are devoted passionately to the contemporary creative scene of her instrument.
A number of composers wrote solo pieces for and in dialogue with Stefanie Schumacher, also chamber music and orchestra parts, among them Minas Borboudakis, Viera Janárčeková, Nikolaus Brass, Helga Pogatschar and Moritz Eggert. She took part in numerous first performances, like works by Peter Michael Hamel, Sydney Corbett and Paul Engel, e.g. on the Biennale in Munich. In her own way, Stefanie Schumacher has been greatly contributing to and influencing the contemporary world of accordion.
The central point of departure for her solo CD »Unanswered Questions« (2011) was Janáček’s cycle On Overgrown Path. In this work, Janáček treats the premature death of his daughter Olga. Elaborating on this death theme, various solo pieces were created, among them the title motif Unanswered Questions by Masha Khotimski, Alpha by Arash Safaian, Empathy by Laurence Traiger, and many others. Her CD won critical acclaim – »succeeding on the level of accurate as well as inspired playing« (BR – Bavarian Radio).
In 2012 she followed invitations to the festivals »Klangspuren Schwaz«, »Oberstdorfer Musiksommer«, and »Tage der Neuen Musik Bamberg«. »Unbelievable what vitality, range of expression and effects were being elicited from this miraculously breathing instrument.« (FT – Franconian Daily)
In her chamber music projects, Stefanie Schumacher relates contemporary creations to transcribed works of previous time periods, thus opening up a larger context behind each work – as was on the program during the festivals »Kultursommer Hessen«, »Niedersächsische Musiktage«, and the »Schwarzwaldmusikfestival«.
She has performed regularly with great orchestras like the Munich Symphony Orchestra or the State Theatre at Gaertnerplatz (an opera house in Munich), and she has joined chamber music concerts with members of the Munich Philharmonic and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. On international concert tours she travelled to Austria, France, Spain, Greece, Vietnam, Brasil and the USA. All these experiences, not to forget her performances with the Ensemble Zeitsprung, always give new impetus to her work with the accordion.
In Dialogues on Love – A Street Opera, an interdisciplinary music theatre project, Stefanie Schumacher dared to touch new ground, and with her instrument she adopted one of the four leading parts on stage. It was performed during the opening ceremonies of the Goethe Institute Hanoi in Vietnam in 2004. A TV documentary of this project entitled The Linking between Asia and Europe was aired by Vietnam Television on VTV3.
Stefanie Schumacher studied accordion and piano at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich, Germany. She further refined her accordion skills with Teodoro Anzellotti, and obtained her concert diploma from Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland. In addition she has attended many master classes, e.g. with Hugo Noth, Stefan Hussong and Friedrich Lips.
2012 Bayerischer Kunstförderpreis (Bavarian Award for the Promotion of the Arts)
2008 Musikstipendium der Stadt München (Music Grant of the City of Munich)
2003-2006 Scholarship holder of the Yehudi-Menuhin-Donation »Live Music Now«