Two-time winner of the Ithaca College School of Music Concerto Competition, Benjamin Pawlak is a graduate of Ithaca College where he studied with Yale and Juilliard alumnus Dr. Vadim Serebryany, Juilliard alumna Dr. Jennifer Hayghe and the late Dr. Greg DeTurck. In high school he studied at the Ithaca College School of Music with Dr. Nathan Hess. He is now pursuing his Masters Degree in Piano Performance at Texas Christian University with John Owings.
In the spring of his freshman year at Ithaca College, Benjamin was selected as one of the winners of the School of Music’s 2014 Concerto Competition which resulted in him making his solo debut playing Prokofiev’s First Piano Concerto with the School of Music’s Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, he again won the competition for which he performed Maurice Ravel’s Concerto in G Major. Benjamin has since made his professional concerto debut, playing the Liszt Concerto No. 1 in E-flat with the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes in September 2016.
In the summer of 2018, Benjamin attended the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Piobbico, Italy. There he studied under Dr. Catherine Lysinger, Dr. Read Gainsford, and Dr. Jennifer Hayghe. He has professionally toured with violinist Maria Beltavski, giving four concerts in summer 2017, and the duo has continued performing together in April and June 2018. Benjamin has also attended the Brevard Music Center’s piano program in summer 2017, studying under Norman Krieger and Michael Chertock.
From 2009-2015, Benjamin attended the Credo Chamber Music Festival at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he honed his collaborative skills. There he studied under renowned chamber coaches including James Howsmon and Alvin Chow of the Oberlin Conservatory piano faculty, Steuart Pincombe of the baroque chamber group Apollo’s Fire, principal cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Anne Martindale Williams, and the late Dean Emeritus of The Juilliard School Stephen Clapp.
In high school, Benjamin won several competitions both locally and throughout New York State including first prize in the 2011 Debussy Piano Competition held at Nazareth College, first prize in the 2011 NYSMTA Empire Competition held at Ithaca College, first prize in the 2012 Cantata Singers Young Artist Competition in Elmira, first prize in the 2013 Thursday Morning Musicales Scholarship Competition, honorable mention at both the 2012 and 2013 NYSMTA District Auditions in Ithaca, and second place in the 2013 Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes’ Herzog Young Artist Competition.
Benjamin, a native of Horseheads, New York, now lives in Fort Worth, Texas, where he is pursuing a Masters Degree in piano performance at Texas Christian University. His first album, Snapshot, was released in September, 2016.