About Francois Byers

A brief history…

 

 

 “Francois Byers has a bright, fresh command of keyboard improvisation with an undercurrent of classical structure in every form of his compositions”

-Stephen Csiszar

Francois hails from Winston Salem, North Carolina, where he spent his formative years as the second youngest among nine siblings. His musical journey began at the tender age of five when he embarked on piano lessons under the tutelage of his father, a distinguished classical composer, pianist, and teacher.

However, at the age of ten, Francois took a brief hiatus from his musical pursuits to immerse himself in his other passions: baseball and basketball. It wasn’t until the onset of eighth grade that he rediscovered his love for the piano and resumed his lessons. Even though sports continued to be a significant part of his high school years, Francois eventually decided to dedicate himself wholeheartedly to the piano.

After graduating from high school, he launched his professional career by sharing his music at a variety of venues in and around Winston Salem, including weddings, solo recitals, and various business events.

A few years later, Francois pursued higher education at Berea College, studying under the guidance of mentors Robert Lewis and Javier Clavere. Here, he completed a major in music and a minor in philosophy. Francois also contributed his talents as a staff accompanist, collaborating with vocalists and instrumentalists in competitions, lessons, and performances. Notably, for his senior recital, he added a unique twist by dressing as the composers whose works he performed, bringing their personalities to life on stage, and providing insights into the emotional nuances of their compositions.

Building upon his success in the academic arena, Francois continued to captivate audiences with solo recitals across North Carolina, performing in churches, business events, private gatherings, and renowned recital halls. His approach to classical pieces involved delving into the lives of the composers, drawing parallels between their personalities and the emotional depth of their compositions, thereby offering audiences a fresh perspective on their listening experiences.

Today, Francois resides in central Pennsylvania, where he wears many hats. He directs choirs, imparts piano knowledge to eager learners, and shares his musical talents as part of the Benjamin Vo Blues Band. Alongside his loving wife and faithful canine companion, Peanut, he savors life’s simple pleasures. In his spare moments, you can find him on the basketball court, testing his wits at the poker table, or pursuing his newfound passion for Taekwondo, under the expert guidance of mixed martial arts master Sensei Josef.