Dr. Andrew (Drew) Le of the Hope College music faculty has received a Steinway & Sons 2016 Top Teacher award.
Le is an associate professor of music at Hope. He was selected for the recognition by West Michigan Piano of Grand Rapids, which is a Steinway dealer, for his outstanding instruction and leadership in piano education.
It’s the second time that Le has received major recognition through Steinway. He was also named a Steinway Artist by the company in 2013.
A member of the Hope faculty since 2005, Le began teaching professionally at a young age when he was invited to serve on the faculty of the All-State Program at Interlochen Arts Camp as an undergraduate student, teaching alongside tenured professors. Later, he was appointed Jerome Lowenthal’s teaching assistant at Juilliard. He also served on the faculties of the Juilliard School Piano Minor Program, the Gilmore Piano Camp and the Gilmore Foundation’s KeysFest, and at Friends Music Camp.
His students at Hope have received a variety of honors through the years. During the recent spring semester, for example, freshman Kennadi Hawes received Second Prize in the 2017 White Lake Young Artist Solo Competition, and Mark Cunningham of the Class of 2017 won the college’s Concerto-Aria Competition and the opportunity to perform with the Hope College Symphony Orchestra.
As a pianist, Le has been hailed as “an impressive tour-de-force... a plenitude of poetic nuance” by the New York Concert Review, and lauded by Goleta Valley Voice for his “consummate piano virtuosity” and Mountain Tradition for his “pistonlike precision.” In addition to his recognition in 2013 as a Steinway Artist, he was the first-prize winner of the 2004 Hilton Head International Piano Competition. He has also received recognition in numerous other competitions, including first prize in the 1993 Music Teachers National Association-Baldwin Competition, the Bronze medal in the 1997 Gina Bachauer Young Artists International Piano Competition and winning the 2004 Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition. He released his debut recording on the Blue Griffin label in 2013.
Le is the founder and director of the Brown Bag Concert Series at the Holland Area Arts Council, an informal concert series designed to encourage and foster the accessibility of classical music to the general public. He and his wife, violinist Jennifer Walvoord, are the artistic directors of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, and he is a violinist in the Holland Symphony Orchestra. Passionate about serving his local community, he has also performed recitals as food drives, the last of which brought in close to 600 non-perishable items that were donated to the Holland Rescue Mission.
He is also an avid photographer. He has been capturing weddings, portraits and events since 2007, and exhibitions of his photographic work have been presented all across West Michigan. He has been a member of Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), and is currently a member of Sony Pro Imaging Support and Canon Professional Services.
Born in Vietnam, Le holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal. His dissertation research focused on the performance and pedagogical traditions of Jerome Lowenthal and preserving the heritage passed down to him from his own teachers, Alfred Cortot, Eduard Steuermann and William Kapell. He is also a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he studied with Arthur Greene, and of the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied with Victoria Mushkatkol.