Daniel Szefer, pianist, (19), is a first-generation American born to Polish parents. He had his first piano lessons at the age of seven and was introduced to the public in Miami, FL by the Chopin Foundation of the United States when he was ten. He gave three solo performances in Millennium Park in Chicago in 2010. In 2011, the cable television network, POLSAT, made a documentary about his life as a young musician. Szefer was one of eight international students invited to study at the Sergei Babayan Academy at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2012. The same year, he gave a solo concert at the Chicago Symphony Center. He had his orchestral debut with the Lira Ensemble Orchestra conducted by Mina Zikri at the age of 13 and would concertize with this orchestra for the next three years. Szefer gave three concerts in Poland in July, 2013.
At 13, Szefer was the youngest finalist in the Crain-Maling Foundation of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Audition in 2012. He played Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5, “The Emperor” and placed 2nd Place, 1st Alternate. He received a scholarship to the Oxford Philomusica Piano Festival at the University of Oxford, Great Britain in 2013. As a member of the Fortis Piano Quartet, Szefer won the 1st prize and the overall Grand Award during the 2015 Barnett Chamber Music Competition and performed live on WFMT’s “Introductions”. As a member of the same group, Szefer was a semifinalist at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2015.
He was the youngest Fellow at the the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in 2014 and one of two Americans, who participated in the 8th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Moscow, Russia in 2014. Szefer had his Chicago Symphony Center orchestral debut with the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra in November, 2015.
In June 2016, Szefer was a top prizewinner at the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. In the same month he was offered scholarship and admission to the Advanced Performance Program at the Mount Royal University Conservatory in Calgary, CA. In July 2017, he was a finalist and prize winner of the international “Prix Orford Musique” in Quebec, Canada
Since a young child, Szefer performed in many prestigious piano festivals and local charity events. He was invited to have masterclasses with the most accomplished piano teachers and concert pianists: Garrick Ohlssohn, Robert McDonald, Rafal Blechacz, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Mahan Esfahani, Dame Fanny Waterman, Llyr Williams, Jeffrey Swann and others.
Daniel previously studied with Alexander Zintchenko, Pawel Checinski, and was a student of Ralph Neiweem at The Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago, a pre-college program for talented young musicians.
His current teacher is Prof. Krzysztof Jablonski at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal Conservatory in Alberta, Canada.