Jakob Bangsø, guitarist (b. 1988)
Award-winning classical guitarist Jakob Bangsø has marked himself as one of Denmark’s most gifted and versatile instrumentalists. Active as a solo recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestra, his wide and constantly expanding repertoire ranges from early music to newly commissioned works.
A top prize winner in multiple international guitar competitions around Europe, the year 2014 alone saw him winning First Prize at the Berlin International Guitar Competition, First Prize and Audience Award at the Concours International de Guitare “Ville d’Antony” in France and First Prize at the Nordhorn International Guitar Competition in Germany. Further awards include the Second Prize at the IV Seville International Guitar Competition, Third Prize at the “José Tomás” Competition in Spain and many others.
He has appeared as soloist with the Aarhus and Aalborg Symphonies, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Pärnu City Orchestra, the Diamond Ensemble, Camerata Lutécia, Helsinki Chamber Orchestra amongst others, including performances of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, the Girard, Corigliano, Siegel and Caravassilis Concertos.
With a keen interest in contemporary music, Bangsø continues to be involved in collaborations with composers in Denmark and abroad with several dozen premieres to his name. His collaboration with the Danish/American composer Wayne Siegel resulted in the composer's first guitar concerto Chaconne in 2017, premiered by Bangsø and the DiamantEnsemblet at the Queen’s Hall of the Royal Library in Copenhagen. The same year, a larger orchestration of Chaconne was premiered in Estonia with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra (TCO) in a programme paired with the American composer John Corigliano’s concerto Troubadours.
His commission of a guitar concerto from the Greek/Canadian composer Constantine Caravassilis, Saudade, which he went on to premiere with the TCO in 2018 is another testament to Jakob’s sincere interest in finding unique composers who resonate with his artistic personality.
His 2020 album Guitar Concertos (Orchid Classics) sees him as soloist with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra in 3 contemporary guitar concertos (Corigliano/Caravassilis/Siegel) receiving high critical acclaim: "Bangsø's impeccable pointillist technique lands each idea with admirable clarity" - Musical America; "... a superb program... Mr Bangsø's technique and musicality know no limits in every piece presented here" - American Record Guide; "Bangsø tackles [Corigliano's] blend of nostalgic reverie and jauntily surreal, quasi-medieval episodes with just the right kind of understated verve." - BBC Music Magazine.
In 2018, he presented 5 world premiere recordings on his solo album Connect (Dacapo Records) featuring an eclectic and curiosity-driven programme of contemporary works for guitar and electronics, written for Bangsø, by composers Tine Surel Lange, Andreja Andric, Klavs Kehlet Hansen, Wayne Siegel and Kaj Duncan David.
Amongst an impressive list of accolades, Bangsø was the first guitarist ever to receive the coveted Young Elite career endowment from the Danish Arts Council in 2015. Furthermore, he has been recognized with honors and awards including the 75th Anniversary Grant of the Augustinus Foundation, the Ejnar Hansen Award, the Thøger Rasmussen Memorial Award, the Makwarth’s Music Award, the Rebild Music Prize and a string of others.
Jakob Bangsø was born in Hjørring, Denmark, in 1988 and received his first guitar lessons at the age of 9. He completed his studies with Frederik Munk Larsen at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus (Advanced Postgraduate Diploma) and, as a recipient of the prestigious German DAAD scholarship, with Roberto Aussel at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne (Master's degree).
He is artistic director and co-founder of the Danish Guitar Camp, a summer course for aspiring young academy and pre-terniary guitar students and has given masterclasses in Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Canada and the USA. He has been juror at the Berlin International Guitar Competition as well as at the Aalborg Guitar Festival & Competition.
Bangsø plays on a 2015 Bogusław Teryks guitar (spruce/cedar sandwich) and uses Augustine Strings exclusively.
1st Prize: Berlin International Guitar Competition (Germany 2014)
1st Prize: XV Concours International de Guitare "Ville d'Antony" (France 2014)
1st Prize: International Guitar Competition Nordhorn (Germany 2014)
1st Prize: RAMA Soloist Competition (Denmark 2015)
2nd Prize: Twents International Guitar Competition (the Netherlands 2014)
2nd Prize: IV Concurso Internacional de Guitarra de Sevilla (Spain 2013)
2nd Prize: Twents International Guitar Competition (the Netherlands 2013)
3rd Prize: XII Concurso Internacional de Guitarra "José Tómas" (Petrer, Spain, 2013)
3rd Prize: Aachener Gitarrenpreis (Germany 2012)
3rd Prize: International Guitar Competition Nordhorn (Germany 2012)
Audience Award: XV Concours International de Guitare "Ville d'Antony" (France 2014)
Honors and Awards
Augustinus Fondens Jubilæumsbevilling, 2018
Den Unge Elite, Statens Kunstfond, 2015-2017
Rebild Musikpris, 2016
Scholarship from the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch-Dienst), 2013 and 2015
Ejnar Hansen Prisen, 2013
Viggo Makwarths & Hustru Veronika Makwarths Musiklegat, 2012
Thøger Rasmussens Mindelegat, 2011
1. Pris og Musikskoleelevernes Pris, Talentkonkurrence for Unge Klassiske Musikere i Nordjylland, 2004