Simon Wawer (*1979)


Born in Mechernich in north-western Germany, Simon Wawer discovered his love of music and his own special musicality at an early age. His many years of rigorous piano tuition under church musician and choir director Friedbert Ströder enabled him to acquire all of the necessary fundamentals of musical and harmonic theory. His sensitivity to harmony and his feeling for tonality developed into important and resilient pillars of his musical work. In addition to piano music, Wawer discovered, under the influence of his late parents, an enthusiasm for demanding a cappella choral music. He has, for many years, been a member of the choirs Kleine Cantorei in Dahlem (director: Friedbert Ströder), Kölner Kantorei in Cologne (director: Volker Hempfling, since 2015 Georg Hage)


For a number of years now, Simon Wawer has also been active as a composer of choral music. In this he has been encouraged and sustained by expert support and advice of established musicians – for example Volker Hempfling, Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Protestant Church Music (Choral and Orchestral Conducting) at the Universities of Music in Saarbrücken and Düsseldorf and Renate Klinkhammer, lecturer in the Theory of Music (Theory of Harmony and Counterpoint) at the University of Music in Cologne. Apart from that, he actually is an autodidact in this area of music.


Several of his pieces has been published by “Edition Ferrimontana” (Musikal Spezial), Frankfurt, “Helbling”, Rum/Austria and "carus-verlag"/Germany. His Ave Maria has been selected as the compulsory piece of several regional choir competitions in 2008/2012. In the same year he was selected by the Union of European Choral Federations (AGEC), to represent Germany at the 1st International Convention for Conductors and Composers in the Belgian city of Ghent. It was there that his composition “In lumine tuo” for eight-voice mixed choir was presented in front of an international audience, well-known conductors and famous composers. Also in 2008, his composition “Jubilate Deo” was first performed successfully at the “Festivokal”, a musical summer school in the German state of Hesse.


In 2009, he received commissions to compose works from Thomas Bailly of Lioba Voices, Bad Nauheim (for “Viva la musica”) and from Franz-Peter Huber, the cathedral’s director of music, for the 20th anniversary of the youth choir of Fulda cathedral. In this year, 130 participants of the “Festivokal” sang his composition “Viva la musica”. It was performed first in Bad Nauheim (Dolce Theater).


In 2010 the famous boy-choir “Regensburger Domspatzen” recorded his “Nunc dimittis” on CD and the vocal ensemble “Sjaella” from Leipzig also produced a new CD including three compositions by Simon Wawer. His composition “Silent Love” was performed first within the international festival „Concordia Vocis“ in Sardinia by the “Kölner Kantorei”.

In november 2013 "Sjaella" released their second album "Preisung". Three compositions by Simon Wawer are on the list of tracks.


Simon Wawer and Sjaella maintain a close and personal friendship. This friendship has built invaluable collaboration.


2012 he was asked by “Sjaella” to compose a new piece ("Morgengesang") for the “Bach-Festival” in Leipzig. Also in 2012 his composition "Viva la musica" was performed within the "world choral fest" in Dublin, Ireland.


Within the scope of the ACDA National Conference in 2013 in the USA the ensemble "Cantamus" of the Iowa State University (Kathleen Rodde, conductor) performed Simon Wawer's "Keep on singing" in front of thousands of music experts. The "vocalis ensemble Dresden" recorded Simon Wawer's settig of psalm 91 "Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen über dir" (For he shall give his angels charge over thee).


Within the concert-series of the "Kölner Kantorei" 2016 Simon Wawers "Maria durch ein Dornwald ging" was performed. Accompanied by improvisations by Markus Stockhausen and Tara Bouman.


2018 Sjaella recorded their Award-Winning CD "Meridiane Nord". A setting of "Vem kann segla" förutan vind" by Simon Wawer is on the CD.


In 2018 the "Kölner Kantorei" celebrated ist 50th anniversary. For this occasion Simon Wawer composed an a cappella version of "Gloria" as well as an orchestra version, which was performed in the Philharmonic hall in Cologne.


In 2020 Simon Wawer set excerpts of the Song of Solomon to music in "How Beautiful" fpr the concert programm of the Kölner Kantorei.

Another piece for "Sjaella" (O radiant Light) was wirtten in 2020. The composition "Oremus pro pace" for mixed choir was composed for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (In Memoriam Auschwitz). 


His compositions are performed with great success by numerous distinguished choirs (e.g. “Kölner Kantorei”, director: Volker Hempfling/Georg Hage; “Kleine Cantorei Dahlem”, director: Friedbert Ströder; “The Philippine Madrigal Singers”, director: Mark Anthony Carpio; “Sjaella” from Leipzig; “Regensburger Domspatzen”, director Roland Büchner; “Majorstua Kammerkor” (Norway), "Cantamus of Iowa State University" (USA), dircetor: Kathleen Rodde; "vocalis ensemble dresden", director: Elena Beer,…). And many more!


His a cappella compositions are appreciated at home and abroad (USA, Philippines, Cuba, different European countries), they are presented at choral competitions, international choir and conductor workshops and recorded on CD.


Have a look at the list of works in the "NEWS"-section.


As a social worker Simon Wawer works in a child and youth welfare organization.