Biography
Tiffany Tieu

Known for his electrifying virtuosity and profound depth, award-winning pianist Andrew Focks performs in concert venues around the globe as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician.  Commanding a mastery of an unusually vast range of styles and repertoire, his performances have been broadcast on television and radio throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.  From major concert platforms such as New York’s Carnegie Hall to stages of festivals in Italy, China, Hungary and more, musicians and the public alike have embraced his artistry.  World-renowned pianist Jon Kimura Parker stated, "Andrew Focks is not only a superb pianist, but an engaging, articulate, and creative musician. He is just what we need in the music world today: a born communicator!"

Fully established as a classical artist, the scope of Andrew’s artistic activities also include improvisation, conducting, composition, and performances in a myriad of styles including jazz, film, and popular music.  His professional collaborations include performances with award-winning pianists and vocalists, symphony orchestras in the United States and Europe, and musicians of the Cleveland Pops, Akron Symphony, CityMusic Cleveland, and Houston Ballet Orchestra, among many others. 

A passionate advocate of the arts, Andrew has spoken and performed in over 500 outreach concerts and events bringing music to diverse and unconventional settings, including a close association with ArtsConnect of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.  He is the Vice President and Immediate Past President of the Northeast Ohio Music Teachers Association, and through these platforms he has worked to further raise the level of piano education, setup new competitive opportunities for young pianists, and bring in some of the world’s greatest pianists to work with students in the region.  Andrew also regularly gives masterclasses and lectures for music organizations throughout the United States and abroad.  His interview with legendary pianist Robert Levin was recently featured as the cover story of Clavier Companion Magazine.

Internationally in demand as a master teacher, his students regularly perform in major venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, and the White House.  They are frequent prizewinners and scholarship recipients that work with some of the world’s most distinguished artists and attend the most prestigious music academies and conservatories including the Juilliard School, Indiana University, Boston University, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Berklee School of Music.  

Andrew has served on the faculty of summer academies, music schools, and festivals including annual appearances in Szeged, Hungary.  He regularly is invited as an adjudicator of piano competitions, and currently teaches piano performance, music theory, and composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  His extensive experience includes teaching classes in music theory/analysis at Case Western Reserve University as well as regularly coaching chamber music, performance psychology, and improvisation.  He also maintains a studio of advanced students and professional music educators in Cleveland, OH.

A focal point of Andrew’s teaching career is his student, Emily Bear, a world-class 16 year old pianist/composer/songwriter that has distinguished herself with performances at many of the world’s most sought after venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note, the Hollywood Bowl, plus a 25-concert tour of Europe with full orchestra.

Andrew Focks earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music after completing graduate studies at Rice University and an undergraduate degree at Florida State University.  His earlier training took place at the New England Conservatory.  Constantly searching to deepen his understanding of music, Dr. Focks supplemented his education with several summers at the Mozarteum Sommerakadamie in Salzburg, numerous masterclasses with major artists such as Andras Schiff, and at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival with Richard Goode.  He has won first prize in multiple competitions in the fields of concerto performance, chamber music, and solo performance.  His mentors and teachers have included Arnaldo Cohen, Jon Kimura Parker, Daniel Shapiro, Robert Levin, Read Gainsford, and Ya-Fei Chuang. 

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