Eric Hicks is originally from Austin, Texas. He began his studies with Robert Grant Burns, a student of Dalies Frantz. At the age of 14 Eric was chosen to present a 1 hour television recital on the Austin/San Antonio PBS station KLRN which included 11 of J.S. Bach’s 2-part Inventions. As a high school student, Eric studied with Karl Leifheit, a former student of Dalies Franz and Cecile Genhardt. As a high school senior he was awarded first prize in the Wednesday Morning Music Club’s Minne Sneed Wilcox competion as well as the TMTA state solo competition. Eric earned his Bachelors of music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied with John Perry and his Masters degree in music at SUNY Stony Brook where he studied with Gilbert Kalish. During his undergraduate years he spent a semester abroad where he furthered his piano studies in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Hicks received his Doctorate in Music from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Dr. Betty Mallard.
Dr. Hicks is widely experienced as a performer. He has performed extensively throughout the United States, Mexico and parts of Asia as both a soloist and collaborative performer. He and a collaborative partner received grants from the Texas commission on the Arts for 2 consecutive years of touring Texas cities. In addition they received a grant from Mexico’s Ministry of Culture for a concert tour of Mexico which included concerts in Morelia, Guadalajara, Monterrey and 2 concerts in Mexico City. Dr. Hicks was invited later to appear with the Monterrey Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in Rachmaninoff’s 1st piano concerto. In addition to that concerto appearance, Dr. Hicks has also appeared with the Austin Civic Orchestra in a performance in the Mozart concerto, K. 271.
After the completion of his Doctoral degree, Dr. Hicks was invited to head the piano department at a private music school in Bangkok, Thailand. During his 4 years in Asia, Dr. Hicks worked closely with Thai teachers to improve their teaching skills as well as with his own students. At the same time, he was active as both a performer and as a clinician for Alfred Publishing company for whom he did workshops in Singapore, Brunei, Hong Kong and Kuala Lampur. In addition to being a regular performer and clinician in Bangkok he also did concerts and masterclasses in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Seoul, South Korea. During his final year in Bangkok, two of Dr. Hicks’ students received the top 2 prizes in Bangkok’s Piaphand National Piano Competition, a rigorous competition with both solo and concerto requirements. The finalists in this competition appeared as soloists with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. and Mrs. Hicks returned to Austin in 1999 and established their Piano Performance Academy where they have, for the last 14 years, consistently produced some of the best trained and most effective young performers in Austin. Dr. Hicks has been active as a teacher for 35 years and in addition to his private teaching has been a visiting professor at Southwestern University, and has taught at the University of Houston’s Summer Piano Program, Anoka-Ramsey College in Minnesota, St. Stephens Episcopal School, and as a graduate student at the University of Texas. Since returning to Austin, Dr. Hicks’ activities as a performer have included solo recitals at Texas State University, Southwestern University and the Austin Lyric Opera’s Armstrong School. In addition, he has done benefit solo recitals to help raise funds for the musical fraternity of Mu Phi Epsilon and for Austin’s Wednesday Morning Music Club. In 2012, Dr. Hicks in collaboration with violinist Dr. Lynn Ledbetter of Texs State University completed performances of the complete cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas in a series of recitals given at Texas State University and the Armstrong school, they have also been featured performers at Killeen’s Central Texas College. Dr. Hicks’ reviews of recordings appear in Clavier Magazine. He has twice been recognized as the Austin District Music Teachers Association’s outstanding pre-collegiate teacher of the year.
I. Performances with Orchestra:
• 1st Prize and Performance with orchestra: Austin Symphony Youth Auditions: 2012/13 – 2 winners (1. Mozart K. 466 I, 2. Rachmaninoff 2nd III); 2010/11 – 2 winners (1. Gershwin Concerto in F I., 2. Saint Saens Concerto #2 I.; 2004/05 – Rachmaninoff Concerto #1 I.
• 1st Prize and Performance with Orchestra: Pearl Amster Austin Civic Orchestra Competition: 2010 – Saint Saens Concerto #2 I., 2008 – MacDowell 2nd Concerto I., 2006, 2004 – Rachmaninoff Concerto #1 I.
I. Solo Competitions (1st prize winners): 3 winners ADMTA High School Competition; 3 winners ADMTA Shedler Middle-school Competition, 3 winners The Minnie Sneed Wilcox competition sponsored by Austin Wednesday Morning Music Club, Houston Music Teacher’s Forum Competition, Local and District 3 State sponsored Student Affiliate Performance Competition; 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th grade ADMTA solo competition; 3rd, 4th, 5th, 12th, grade; ADMTA Schedler Middle School and High School Competitions, Montgomery College Young Artist Awards, Southwest Texas University Young Pianist Competition, Asian-American Young Musician’s Competition. 2007 Winner of Bradford – Buono competition 1st Div. Carnegie Hall Performance, Audition, 2008 Winner of Bradford –Buono 2nd Div. Recital Winner. 2012 Grand Prize Winner and 2nd prize winner of the Biennial Asian/American Challenge Cup Competition.
Top Prize winners (2nd or 3rd prizes): 8th &11th grade of ADMTA solo competition, Schedler Middle School Competition, High School Competition, top prize winners in the Asian-American Young Musician’s Competition, top prize winners in San Antonio’s Janet Hodges, and San Marcos Young Musicians Festival, Baylor/Waco Young artist Competition, Students invited to perform on San Antonio’s Prodigy Concerts sponsored by Musical Bridges organization, 3rd Prize 2009 TMTA 8th grade State Solo Competition, HM 2009 TMTA State 9th grade Concerto Competition.
Master classes: Students chosen to perform in master class for world-famous eminent artists including: Paul Badura-Skoda, Abby Simon, John Perry, and Gold Medal Van Cliburn Competition Winner Stanislav Ioudenitch. Students chosen to perform for 2006 National MTNA Convention. 2007 – Students invited to perform for visiting Austin Symphony Orchestra Artists including Phillipe Entremont and Jon Kimura Parker.
Advanced Study: Students have gone on to study piano at Rice University Shepard School of Music, The Juilliard School of Music, USC’s Thornton School of Music, The University of Houston, the Interlochen Academy of Music and have received full Scholarships to Baylor University Summer Piano Workshops.