Stephan Mai was born in Leipzig in 1953. He began studying violin in 1962, taking lessons at the Hochschule für Musik in Leipzig until he completed his studies in 1976. After graduating, he became a member of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in East Berlin as well as the Kammerorchester in Berlin. He also became involved in the formation of an ensemble that was dedicated to historical performance practice on modern instruments.
In 1982 he founded the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, of which Stephan Mai is one of the ensemble’s concertmasters. Together with the orchestra Stephan Mai was invited by the West German Radio (WDR) to perform at the Tage Alter Musik Herne in 1986. Since then he has been active in countless recordings and radio broadcasts with the ensemble. Tours and festival appearances brought his ensemble to most of Europe’s leading musical venues, as well as performances in North and South America, the Middle East, and Japan.
Since 1991, next to his artistic and solo work with the Akademie, he has taught violin at the Felix Mendelssohn College of Music and Theater in Leipzig and at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin.
His experience with historical performance practice has led him to coach the performance of music of the 18th and 19th centuries to numerous chamber music ensembles on both modern and period instruments.