In 1996 he was appointed as principal oboe at the National Orchestra of Belgium under chief conductors Yuri Simonov, Mikko Franck and Walter Weller. Since 2008 he holds the same position at the Rotterdam Philharmonic under chief conductors Valerie Gergiev and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
He is been invited for concerts and recordings with most orchestras and opera houses in Belgium and the Netherlands and he is sought after as chamber musician with ensembles like Oxalys, Quatuor Danel, Combattimento Consort Amstyerdam, I Solisti del Vento…
He also appeared at international chamber music festivals such as Storioni Festival and Schiermonnikoog Chamber music Festival.
Karel Schoofs is also active in other culture domains: in Jazz-music with the ‘Dowland project’ and in the theater productions ‘verses of Live and Death’ and ‘Watermusic’.
In 2010 he made his debut as a soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic playing music of Mozart and Bellini. He also played as a soloist at the Festival of Flanders, with the Belgian Kamerfilharmonie, the Brabant Orchestra and at the World exhibition in Shanghai. In 2014 he played the Dutch première of James MacMillan’s oboe concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
Karel Schoofs is member of the chamber music group MP21, which was founded at the music festival ARAM in France where he also gave masterclasses.
Since 2007 he forms a musical duo with Anneleen Lenaerts, solo-harp of the Wiener Philharmoniker.