At the age of 17, Hans Adolfsen enrolled at the Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands and commenced a course of study in singing. Some years later, he switched to the piano. On the evening that he heard his first Lieder recital, a Schubert programme with Elly Ameling and Rudolf Jansen, he was so enraptured that he at once knew he was destined to be a Lieder accompanist. He completed his piano studies and complemented them with courses in chamber music and song accompaniment.
Throughout his time at the Conservatory, he accompanied vocalists at concerts and master classes, expanding his own understanding of the Lied in master classes with Hartmut Höll and Mitsuko Shirai, Udo Reinemann, Arleen Augér, Irwin Gage and Thomas Hampson. The intensive work with singing teacher Margreet Honig played a major part in making him the much-soughtafter coach and rehearsal pianist that he is today. Adolfsen conducts a Lieder class at the Zurich University of the Arts together with pianist and composer Daniel Fueter, whose constant engagement with music and literature has been a fresh source of inspiration for him.