Connor Shafran

Connor Shafran is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Germany. He is currently a master’s student at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin, where he’s studying electroacoustic music composition.

Before moving to Germany, Shafran grew up in Kentucky, U. S. A., and began his music career in marching percussion. In 2013, he performed with the indoor percussion group RHYTHM X and took first place in the WGI World Championships. Shortly afterwards, he received the Emerson Scholarship to attend the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp and performed with the World Youth Symphonic Orchestra.

For his Bachelor’s, he studied percussion under James Campbell at the University of Kentucky. It was there that he started exploring composition. Over the next few years, he would receive premieres and recordings of his original works by a number of ensembles, including the UK Percussion Ensemble, The Portland Percussion Group, the UK Trumpet Quintet, and the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra in collaboration with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. He also presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research about building propane-tank instruments.

After finishing his degree at UK, Shafran’s compositions began to drift into the electroacoustic realm. Using mainly combinations of handpans, found-sound percussion, synthesisers, keyboards and electronic production techniques, Shafran has whittled out a niche sound that Ableton has praised as “airy” and “mesmerising.” Additionally, his innovative live-performance techniques, which he describes as “scripted looping,” have pushed the compositional limits for solo performers without backing tracks.

When he’s not working on music, you might find Shafran playing chess– a hobby that ultimately led him to write The Game of the Century: Chess for Two Percussionists.

“I find chess to be a very high-intensity game. And like music, it’s all about pattern, structure and creativity. Before writing the piece, I think I considered a rhythmically-performed chess game to be inevitable. It had to be created because it couldn’t just not exist.” – Connor Shafran


Knight to f3. Timer. Tic. Knight to f6. Timer. Tic. Pawn to c4. Timer. Tic. The moves continue in this duet rendition of the famous chess match.
Duration: 2:30 | Level: Medium | Personnel: 2 players
$25.00
Knight to f3. Timer. Tic. Knight to f6. Timer. Tic. Pawn to c4. Timer. Tic. The moves continue in this duet rendition of the famous chess match.
Duration: 2:30 | Level: Medium | Personnel: 2 players
$23.00
#TAPSPACE