studied at the "Leipzig Musikhochschule 'Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy'" following which he was solocellist with the Gewandhaus Orchestra for two years. In 1962, he began his work as solo-cellist at the "Komischen Oper" Berlin. He has won numerous prizes at national and international competitions and appeared as soloist with many orchestras. He has also been invited as a member of the jury for international competitions in Leipzig, Markneukirchen, Moscow, Helsinki, Munich, and Prag. He has performed concerts with such important conductors as Franz Konwitschny, Kurt Masur, Vaclav Neumann, Hans Swarowski, Zdeenek Kosler, and Georg Singer. He has concertized in practically all European countries, South America, Central America, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Mexico, and Japan. He has been a professor at the "Hochschule für Musik 'Hanns Eisler'" in Berlin since 1974. He has received many invitiations to give masterclasses both here and abroad. Josef Schwab was also a member of the Deutsche Staatsoper (German State Opera) String Quartet.