Born in Vienna, he studied piano, harpsichord, composition and music pedagogy at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, as well as basso continuo and historic keyboard instruments at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, French horn at the Vienna Conservatory and mathematics at the Vienna University of Technology.
This was followed by a varied international concert career with harpsichord, fortepiano and piano as soloist, chamber music partner and continuo player in ensembles with historical instruments (eg Concentus Musicus Vienna, Bach Consort Vienna, Wiener Akademie) and modern orchestras (including Wiener Philharmoniker and Berliner Philharmoniker under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Daniel Harding, Georges Prêtre or Kent Nagano).
Since 2004, Stefan Gottfried has worked regularly with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, among others in his opera productions at the Styriarte (Mozart “Idomeneo”, Smetana “The Bartered Bride”, Offenbach “Barbe-Bleue”), at the Theater an der Wien (Handel “Rodelinda” Haydn’s “Orlando paladino”, “Il mondo della luna”, Beethoven’s “Fidelio”, Strawinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” and most recently the Mozart-Da Ponte Cycle) and the Salzburg Festival (Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro”, “Die Zauberflöte”) and at many concerts (eg Wiener Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonic, Lucerne Festival).
Stefan Gottfried is professor for piano at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and gives lectures on various aspects of historical performance practice.
In 2015 he made his debut as a conductor at the Vienna Chamber Opera with the reissue of F.L. Gassmann’s “Gli Uccellatori” and has conducted since then u.a. the Bach Consort Wien, the Wiener Symphoniker and the RSO Wien.
Following the resignation of Nikolaus Harnoncourt in December 2015, Stefan Gottfried, together with Erich Höbarth and Andrea Bischof, took over the artistic direction of Concentus Musicus Wien. As leader of the Concentus Musicus Wien he conducted for example Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Magnificat, Haydn’s “Creation”, various Beethoven symphonies, Schubert’s “Unfinished” and works by Mendelssohn and Bruckner at the Wiener Musikverein, at the „International baroque days“ in Melk, at the Styriarte Graz and at the Brucknerfest Linz. At the Theater an der Wien, where he was „conductor in residence“ in the season 2018/2019, he conducted various operas (Handel’s “Alcina”, Purcell’s “King Arthur”).