Jacob Beranek (b. 1998) is an award-winning, Wisconsin-born composer and pianist. He started composing music at eight years of age and began competing in composition contests at age eleven.
Currently, Jacob is honored to be serving as the first ever composer-in-residence with the Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County, WI. In 2017, Midsummer's Music delivered six performances of his work, including the Midwest premiere of his elegiac trio Sempre nella luce (fl., vc., pno.) and the world premiere of his Door County-themed quintet Death's Door (cl., hn., vln., vc., pno.), which Midsummer’s commissioned. Sempre nella luce was also recently awarded 1st Place in the nation for the 2017 National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) Junior Composers competition, Class IV. This piece was also named one of the national winners in the Dolce Suono Ensemble’s 2017 Steven Stucky Young Composers Competition, where it was premiered at the Curtis Institute of Music.
Jacob has also earned national recognition for his Sonata for Violin and Piano, which was declared the winner of the 2016 Project 21 Prize for Music Composition and premiered by the Midsummer's Music Festival in Green Bay, WI. This piece additionally received 2nd Place nationally in the 2016 NFMC Jr. Composers competition, Class IV. Jacob’s Furiant for Concert Band also received recognition when it was selected for the 2015 Concert Band New Music Reading Session at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, an excerpt being performed by the Air National Guard Band of the Midwest. Jacob currently has eight pieces published by Alliance Publications, Inc., and is a member of ASCAP.
In addition to composing, Jacob is a serious pianist who has earned many honors. He won first place in every event he competed in during the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs (WFMC) State Festivals. Jacob has an undeniable connection to Czech music due to his heritage and had the privilege of studying piano with the internationally acclaimed Czech pianist, Radoslav Kvapil, in Prague during June 2015.
Jacob has been blessed to study with many dedicated teachers throughout his life, including Ronald Foster (composition), Margarita Kontorovsky (piano), and Sam Ecoff (composition and piano). During the summer of 2016, Jacob attended the Curtis Institute of Music's Young Artist Summer Program, where he studied with Dr. David Ludwig, Dr. Jonathan Bailey Holland, Dr. Shinuh Lee, and Alyssa Weinberg. He also attended the Jr. Composers Institute in Minneapolis each July from 2012-2015, where he studied with Randall Davidson, Dr. Seth Custer, and Dr. Sarah Miller.
When not composing or practicing, Jacob delves into music history and avidly researches his family history. Jacob graduated with honors from University Lake School in Hartland, WI, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Composition at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
Thanks Be to God!
In all of my compositions, I strive to achieve one main goal: to uplift the audience. I believe that music should be a journey, an artistic narrative that will enlighten listeners with a sense of hope and direction. This is not to say that all my work is programmatic, but simply that I intend for every piece to capture and carry an audience’s attention in a meaningful way. I firmly trust in divine inspiration and believe that it is my responsibility as an artist to share the products of this inspiration with others. It is my conviction that music provides the most powerful, spiritual method of communication available, and it is through this that we can bring harmony into a dissonant world.
"Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ."
"The aim and final end of all music
should be none other than the glory of God
and the refreshment of the soul.”
– J.S. Bach