Daniel Szefer, (17), pianist, is a first–generation American born to Polish parents. He had his first piano lesson 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 piano performances in Millennium Park in Chicago in 2010. In 2011, the cable television 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 Oistrach Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mina Zikri at the age of 13. 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 Auditions 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 chamber group, Szefer was a semifinalist at the Fischoff National Chamber Music competition in 2015.
He was the youngest Fellow at 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 in November 2015.
Since a young child, Szefer performed in many prestigious piano festivals and local charity events. He was invited to have master classes with the most accomplished piano teachers and concert pianists: Garrick Ohlsson, Robert McDonald, Rafal Blechacz, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Mahan Esfahani, Dame Fanny Waterman, Llyr Williams, Jeffrey Swann, and others.
Szefer is a student at the well-known pre-college music school The Academy, located in Ravinia, Highland Park, Il. His interests range from the history of music, movie making, mathematics, and creative writing to politics and international relations.
His present piano teachers are: Ralph Neiweem and Pawel Checinski.