Piano program

Pianists will have the opportunity to participate in daily master classes of solo, piano duet, concerto, and chamber music repertoire. All participants will be constructively critiqued and offered suggestions to improve their performances. 

  • Practical guidance will be offered in interpretation, technique, and fingering. Problems of facility will be addressed.

  • Pedagogical issues will be examined.

  • Teaching issues for the private piano teacher will be discussed.

  • Guidance for pianists entering competitions will be offered.

Pianists wishing to explore the chamber music and accompanying fields will be paired with appropriate instrumentalists and singers. These pianists will receive  coaching by both a piano faculty member and an appropriate additional faculty member.

Participants will also have the opportunity to perform in public recitals if they desire. 

Assigned times will be given for independent practicing.

Auditors are welcome.

Please submit a recording of two contrasting pieces of your choice with the application for your audition.


Michael Baron

Andrew Focks

Priscila Navarro

An award-winning concert pianist, Michael Baron performs over 40 concerts each year, including annual tours of Europe and engagements throughout the United States, Asia, and South America. Equally at home as a recitalist, a soloist with orchestra, and a chamber musician, Baron commands a diverse repertoire, ranging from Baroque compositions to world premieres of contemporary pieces. His virtuosity and musicianship regularly garner the highest critical acclaim. Baron received his doctorate in Piano Performance from The Ohio State University where he studied with the legendary American pianist, Earl Wild. He also worked extensively in Italy with the renowned pianist, Orazio Frugoni.

Dr. Baron serves as Professor of Music and Head of Keyboard Studies at the Bower School of Music at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida. He is also Honorary Professor of Music at Yantai University and Hubei University in the People’s Republic of China. A distinguished educator, Baron has presented masterclasses and workshops at schools, festivals, and universities throughout the world. He regularly serves as a jurist on regional, national, and international piano competitions.

An acclaimed master teacher, Dr. Baron's students regularly win competitions throughout the United States and abroad. He is a popular teacher and presenter for teacher groups. Recent performances have taken him to Peru, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, South Korea, and Serbia, as well as throughout the United States.

Pianist Andrew Focks has a reputation for astonishing audiences with his electrifying virtuosity and profound lyricism.  His award-winning career has taken him across the United States, Europe, and Asia as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician.  Commanding a vast and versatile repertoire, his performances have been broadcast on television and radio in the United States and abroad.  From New York’s Carnegie Hall to Salzburg’s Mozarteum, and from concert stages in Chengdu to Perugia, he continues to garner high acclaim for the depth of his interpretations.


Dr. Focks' students are frequent prizewinners and scholarship recipients that perform around the globe in major venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Ravinia, the White House, Hollywood Bowl, and Severance Hall.  They have also been featured on radio and national television broadcasts in the United States, Europe, and Australia.  Dr. Focks is a member of the piano and music theory faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music (Preparatory & Continuing Education Division).


A sought after adjudicator of piano competitions, his versatile career includes frequent masterclasses, lectures at music conferences, published articles, and leadership positions in music teacher associations.  He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied under Daniel Shapiro, after completing graduate studies at Rice University with Jon Kimura Parker. For further information, please visit www.andrewfocks.com.

Priscila Navarro performs solo recitals, major chamber works, and a large selection of concerti with orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and South America. She holds a Master’s degree from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where she was a Teaching Assistant under the tutelage of Santiago Rodriguez. Previously, she graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Bower School of Music at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, where she was a student of Dr. Michael Baron, Head of Keyboard Studies.


She started her piano studies at the age of 9, at the National Conservatory of Music of Peru, in the studio of Professor Lydia Hung. She was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts. For three subsequent years she was the winner of the BIG ARTS Kenneth L Nees Classical Music Scholarship. In 2011 she won the South American Chopin Competition in which she completed against all eligible pianists up to the age of 30 in South America.  As part of her prize she studied for two weeks at the Warsaw Conservatory in Poland and was presented in solo recital at a major hall in Warsaw. She has returned to Warsaw many times for further concerts. As the winner of the International Chopin Competition of Texas she made her Carnegie Hall Solo Recital Debut on March 7, 2013. She is also the winner of the Artist Series of Sarasota Piano Competition, the International Beethoven Sonata Piano Competition in Memphis, Tennessee, and the International Liszt-Garrison Competition in Baltimore, Maryland.


Priscila is a fellow at the Academia Pianistica Internazionale Incontri Col Maestro in Imola, Italy, the leading academy in Europe for emerging concert artists, while simultaneously working on her doctorate at the University of Miami.

Dr. Michael Baron, Director