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Edward Francis

Edward Francis leads a versatile career in music as a pianist, educator, administrator, and arts advocate.  He holds degrees in piano performance from California State University, Northridge, and also attended the Aspen Music School & Festival.   His major teachers were Peter Yazbeck, Francoise Regnat, Jakob Gimpel and Edward Auer.  He has performed solo recitals and has been a featured guest artist with many symphony orchestras.  In addition to his solo work he has performed extensively with two established chamber groups: the Westlake Chamber Ensemble, and the DeCesare/Francis Piano Duo.  Performances of both groups have been broadcast on radio and television.  A live duo concert has been released on CD.    He currently holds faculty positions at CSUN, where he teaches piano performance and is the coordinator of Piano Pedagogy.  He also serves on the performance faculty at Pepperdine University, and Moorpark College, where he is Artist-in-Residence.  He is also a faculty member of the John Perry Summer Piano Academy, and the Edward Auer Summer Piano Workshop at Indiana University-Bloomington. 

He is the current co-President of the Music Teachers’ Assn. of California-Conejo Valley Branch, and has served multiple terms in this capacity.  He was the state vice president of the California Assn. of Professional Music Teachers, (CAPMT) the state affiliate to the Music Teachers National Assn.   He served on the Education Committee for the regional New West Symphony and was recognized as one of the 20 most influential people in the 20 year history of that organization.  Currently, he serves on the Artistic Committee for the Ventura Music Festival.  

A busy clinician and master class teacher, he frequently lectures on a variety of pedagogical subjects, has written and presented several monographs at various state conferences, and has had articles published in the professional journal, “The California Music Teacher.”  Master classes and lectures in Pasadena, Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Worth, Bloomington, Northridge and various colleges around the Southland were part of his schedule this past season.  In 2015 he was recognized by CAPMT and given its Lifetime Achievement Award.  He was a guest lecturer at the MTNA Conference in 2014 and was invited to present again in 2016 in San Antonio.  Shortly thereafter he was a guest artist at the MTAC State Conference in Los Angeles.  He was the 2015 featured clinician for the Oklahoma Music Teachers Assn. conference and his student and Cliburn medalist Sean Chen was the guest artist.        

He has developed and maintains an award-winning private piano studio in Thousand Oaks.  His students have performed and won honors in many local, state, national and international competitions, including the American Pianists Assn., the Cliburn and the International Liszt in Holland.  They have earned under-graduate and graduate degrees from the most prestigious music schools throughout the world, and now many former students are music professors at various universities around the country.

The Thousand Oaks Arts Commission presented him with its “Encore Award for Excellence in the Arts,” given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the cultural community of the city.  He was presented the 2006 Presidential Scholar in the Arts Teacher Recognition Award by then Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium and the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington DC.  He founded and remains chairman of the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, a non-profit educational organization, which produces concerts featuring the professional orchestra with exceptional young artists as soloists.   Under the auspices of the TO Phil, he started HAMMERED! The High School Honors Piano Performance Seminar, a monthly series of lectures and master classes.