Born in 1965 in Gehrden, Lower Saxony, Germany.
Studied at the University of Musik and Theater in Hamburg majoring in opera performance, musical theater directing (graduated in 1990) and cultural management (graduated in 1993).
Since 1993 he worked as artistic director at the Thuringian State Theater in Eisenach, in 1995 he held the same position at the Theater of Bremen.
From 1997 till 2007 he was artistic director of the Dresden State Opera.
Since 2006 till today he is President and Direktor of Dresden Semperoperaball.
From 2007 till 2011 he was chief director at the Theater Bremen.
Since 2011 a guest professor at the Seoul College of Arts, since 2015 – at the Ehwa Womans University (South Korea).
Since 2012 he was chief director, artistic director and chairman in Linz Brucknerhaus and LiVa.
Since 2013 Hans-Joachim Frey has been advisor to the general director of the State Academic Bolshoi Theater of Russia V. Urin.
Since 2017 – artistic director of the Sirius Educational Center (Sochi), created on the initiative of V. Putin by The Talent for Success educational foundation.
On September 27, 2018 the great premiere of Gaetano Donizetti’s opera "Don Pasquale" took place at the St. Petersburg Music Hall Theatre. The performance was staged by Hans-Joachim Frеy. The performance was also shown in Moscow in 2019 within the program of the See the Music festival
In January 2018, Donizetti’s opera "Lucia di Lammermoor" was successfully performed on the stage of the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow
On February 7, 2020 the XV Semper Opera Ball was held in Dresden. It is one of the biggest cultural events of Germany with a six-hour live broadcast on the first TV channel in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
On February 8, 2020 a great premiere of Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" was successfully held in the capital of Germany’s Thuringia, the city of Erfurt
On September 11-12, 2020 on the stage of the Astrakhan State Theater of Opera and Ballet the premiere of one of the most famous and the most beloved world opera masterpieces – the opera of George Bizet "Carmen" was successfully held.
May 6, 7 and 8, 2021 for the first time in Russia during one event two modern anti-fascist operas was presented simultaneously in the evening: "The Anne Frank Diary" written by the Soviet composer Gregory Frid in 1969 and "The White Rose" ("Weiße Rose") written by German composer Udo Zimmermann in 1967. This event is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War and World War II.