The Pole received the accolade in the category of works for eight-part choir for the piece entitled Waterfall (for two sopranos, two altos, two tenors, two baritones). It is a seting of an excerpt from a poem by Henry Vaughan (1621-1695).
In addition to receiving a cash prize of 2, 000 euros, Szafrański’s work will be published by Hal Leonard Europe and will be premiered by the British vocal ensemble Voces8.
The AERCO competition is dedicated to a cappella choral compositions.
The competition jury consisted of internationally-renowned choral conductors and composers from Italy, the United Kingdom, Romania, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines. It was chaired by Philip Lawson, a Grammy-winning British composer and arranger, a former member of the King’s Singers.
Jakub Szafrański, 32, is a graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, where he gained diplomas in composition, choral conducting as well as in performance (trumpet). In 2017, he joined the faculty of his alma mater.
His successes include First Prize at the 57th Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers (2016) and several other awards at composers’ competitions in Poland and abroad. His works have been performed by leading Polish and foreign ensembles, including the New Music Orchestra, the proMODERN vocal sextet, The Poznań Chamber Choir, The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, Kammerchor Hannover and Janua Muzika from Vilnius.
He is also active as a singer and choral conductor, directing the Female Choir of the Warsaw School of Economics and serving as an assistant conductor of the Cantores Minores Choir of Warsaw’s St. John’s Cathedral. (mk)