Haefliger was born into a distinguished Swiss musical family and grew up in Germany, going on to study at the Juilliard School in New York. He was quickly recognised as a pianist of the first rank, and engagements with major US orchestras followed swiftly – the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Pittsburgh, Chicago and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestras among them. In his native Europe too, Haefliger has appeared with the great orchestras and festivals such as the Royal Concertgebouw, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra and Vienna Symphony. He is well recognised as a superb recitalist, making his New York debut in 1988. He has ongoing regular relationships with the Lucerne and Edinburgh Festivals, Vienna Konzerthaus, and other major halls across North America and Asia.
Haefliger is a regular visitor to London’s Wigmore Hall with his 'Perspectives' series, in which he performs the complete piano works of Beethoven alongside works by other composers from Mozart to Ligeti. This series has formed the focus of Haefliger’s solo recital appearances and CD recordings in recent years.
In January 2019 he took his own group on tour to Rotterdam, Antwerp, Madrid, Bilbao and Hong Kong.
At the BBC Proms 2019, Haefliger gives the world premiere with the BBC Symphony and Sakari Oramo of a concerto specially commissioned for him from compatriot Dieter Ammann, followed by the North American premiere with Boston Symphony and Susanna Malkki in the autumn. Other future co-commissioners include the Wiener Konzerthaus, Munich Philharmonic, Lucern Festival (where he will appear with the Helsinki Philharmonic) and Taipei Symphony.
In March 2020 he joins Esa Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in a very special Beethoven concert at the Royal Festival Hall, playing Piano Concerto No. 4, the Choral Fantasy and the solo Fantasia. Other highlights of the 2019/20 season include more Beethoven with the Shanghai Symphony and as a recitalist in the 2020 Flagey Piano Festival; and Mozart with Ludovic Morlot at the 2019 Aspen Festival. He also tours to Japan culminating in a solo recital at Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan.
Haefliger is exclusive to the BIS label who released his latest 'Perspectives' album in spring 2018. Haefliger’s first concerto recording will be released in spring 2020 – Bartok Piano Concerto No. 3, Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and the Ammann, all with Malkki and the Helsinki Philharmonic. Haefliger began his career with Sony Classical recording Mozart sonatas followed by Schumann Davidsbündlertanze and Fantasiestücke, Schubert Impromptus, and music by Sofia Gubaidulina. Later Haefliger recorded for Decca with the Takács Quartet and also Matthias Goerne, winning the Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik for their disc of Schubert Goethe Songs.