Mr. Oliver Schlaffer has toured throughout Europe, the United States and Japan as an orchestral performer and chamber musician, working under the batons of conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas and Daniel Barenboim -- including several tours to Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Schlaffer was twice selected to perform as a member of the New York String Orchestra Seminar under the direction of Jamie Laredo at Carnegie Hall, and in the same two years, he was chosen to perform in master classes with Janos Starker and Yo-Yo Ma, the latter of which was recorded by the international broadcasting network CNN.
While residing in Chicago, Mr. Schlaffer performed occasionally in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and full time as principal cellist of the Chicago Civic Orchestra. From 2001 through 2004, Mr. Schlaffer performed as a full-time member and principal cellist of the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami, where he was featured as a concerto soloist in 2004.
Mr. Schlaffer regularly performs in numerous chamber music opportunities throughout the DFW area and abroad, including multiple appearances with Ensemble 75 at Steinway Hall of Dallas and the Basically Beethoven Festival at Fair Park. He currently operates his private teaching studio in Plano, TX, where he devotes much of his time to mentoring young musicians.
Mr. Schlaffer occasionally performs with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Fort Worth Symphony, and plays full time with the Plano Symphony and Irving Symphony. In 2007, Mr. Schlaffer also accepted the positions of principal cellist with the Allen Philharmonic, where he was featured as concerto soloist the following year, as well as principal cellist of the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, where Mr. Schlaffer is also featured regularly as a soloist.
In 2012, Mr. Schlaffer was named principal cellist of the newly-formed Dallas Chamber Symphony, which is the latest and most exciting group of young musicians to hit the Dallas music scene, performing on Tuesday nights at the brand new 750-seat Dallas City Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District.
Extremely passionate about educating today's youth in the arts, Mr. Schlaffer collaborates intensively with both the Dallas Symphony and the Plano Symphony orchestras in their youth outreach programs, personally reaching out to between 3500-4000 young kids each year through his presentations, performances and lessons.
As a versatile performer, Mr. Schlaffer has also collaborated with a number of mainstream music artists from outside of the classical realm, including live concerts with the performers such as Josh Groban, Gloria Estefan, Richard Marx and Andrea Bocelli, as well as nationally televised performances with rappers P. Diddy and Snoop Dogg for MTV's Video Music Awards.
Mr. Schlaffer is now actively sought after not just as performer and teacher, but also as a public speaker and presenter, providing a unique and interactive performance experience to a broad spectrum of audiences that is both engaging and entertaining for all ages.
Born in New York, Mr. Schlaffer began studying the cello at the age of four with Irene Sharp of the San Francisco Conservatory. He continued his studies with Michael Coren of the Dallas Symphony, India Jobelmann, Oregon Symphony principal cellist, and Orlando Cole, the esteemed cellist of the Curtis String Quartet in Philadelphia.
Having attended a number of music festivals throughout the U.S., Mr. Schlaffer has also been very fortunate to have studied chamber music with many teachers including Felix Galamir, Sylvia Rosenberg, Stephen Shipps, David Phillips, Michael Tree and Peter Wiley, and orchestral coaching with principal cellists of the Los Angeles, New York and Vienna Philharmonics, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Mr. Schlaffer earned his Bachelors degree in cello performance at Southern Methodist University under the tutelage of international cello soloist Ko Iwasaki and Dallas Symphony principal cellist, Christopher Adkins, and completed his Masters degree at Northwestern University, studying with Jonathan Pegis of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the distinguished Danish cellist, Hans Jørgen Jensen.