The American pianist and music pedgagoue, Xak Bjerken, earned his bachelorís degree cum laude at UCLA, studying with Aube Tzerko, and his masterís and doctoral degrees from the Peabody Institute as a student and teaching assistant to Leon Fleisher.
has given solo and chamber music recitals in Europe and throughout the USA. Orchestral solo appearances include Edinburgh with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Rome with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and in Disney Hall, Los Angeles, with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed at the Royal Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, the Kennedy Center, and has given recitals throughout Europe.
Xak Bjerken is the pianist of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, which tours the USA regularly and he was for nine years a member and later a co-director with Steven Stucky of ensemble X, a new music group. He has held chamber music residencies at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, performed at the Olympic Music Festival, the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, and served on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival and the Icicle Creek Festival.
Since 2011, Xak Bjerken has been on the faculty at Kneisel Hall in Maine, and at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference in Vermont. He is an Professor of Piano at Cornell University, was music director of Cornell University Chamber Orchestra.(2002-2004), and of Cornell Symphony Orchestra (2004), and is and Co-Artistic Director of Mayfest - Conello International Chamber Music Festival
His first solo recording for CRI, released in 2001, was entitled "High Rise;" he has also recorded for Chandos, Albany Records, Fleur de Son, and Koch International, and in 2010, his recording for Chandos of music by Stephen Hartke received much acclaim.