Born in Cape Town, South Africa, of Czech, German and Polish descent, he began his musical training in Brazil (becoming naturalized Brazilian), where with his parents, Suzanne and Jacques von Frasunkiewicz, he began studying violin at six and piano at eight. His teachers include Ruth Slenczynska (pupil of Serguei Rachmaninoff, Josef Hofmann, Alfred Cortot, Arthur Schnabel, and Egon Petri) at Southern Illinois University, Valeri Grokhovski and Viatcheslav Gabrielov from the Gnesin Institute in Moscow, Ney Salgado at the University of Brasilia, Brazil, Boaz Sharon, current head of the piano department at Boston University, and Nelson Delle Vigne, at the Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris.
He has been awarded numerous national and international prizes since 1987. In 1992, he performed his orchestral debut at the Winter Music Festival Competition at Campos do Jordão, Sao Paulo, performing the Liszt’s Concerto No.1 with the festival’s orchestra, under the baton of Julio Medaglia. In 1997, he was a winner of the Guiomar Novaes International piano competition, also in São Paulo. In 1999 year he was one of two top winners in Brazil’s Chopin Competition having had several nationalities represented commemorating the composer’s 150th year since his death. The following year, after winning first prize at the Pianarte – Pro-Arte National Competition and the Nise Obino trophy in Brasilia, Brazil, he appeared upon Nelson Freire´s request, with the National Theatre Orchestra in Brasilia in the first concert of the National Theatre Series. The same year he was a top winner of the Bach National Competition in Niteroi – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Year after, year, victories followed.
He has received various scholarships, including from the National Society of Arts and Letters and the University of Florida, where he got his Masters in Music, to participate at International Masterclasses in Paris and Prague, and the prestigious Artists Certificate International Program held at the Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris and at the Fondation Bell Arte in Braine L´alleud, Belgium.
He has performed extensively to great public acclaim in Brazil. His performances have often effected profound impressions as well as unusual and wildly enthusiastic reactions on the part of audiences. Besides appearing about a dozen times at Brasilia´s FM Radio, he has recorded for Brazil´s most prestigious classical station, Radio MEC, and had a concerto performance repeatedly televised nationally on the TVA channel. He has also performed in various countries in Europe, Israel, and in the US – at Steinway Galleries and Festivals, Liszt Festivals, at various venues such as at the Kennedy Center (where he shared the stage with Ann Schein), and recitals such as at the Phillips Collection, in Washington-DC. More recent noteworthy engagements have occurred at the reception ceremony of the president of the European Union, the 50th anniversary of Brasília, at the German Embassy, and a full house standing ovation concerto performance with the National Theater Orchestra in Brasília on the 21st of March 2017. He has performed concertos with numerous orchestras and conductors such as Per Brevig, Roberto Tibiriça, Bernard Bressler, Julio Medaglia, Marcelo Ramos, Edson de Carvalho, Emílio de César, and Claudio Cohen.
He has been a piano professor at the University of Florida, University of Brasilia, and at his family’s International School, Affinity Arts, at the Federal District of Brazil, where he lives with his wife, Amelia Ramechfar, and two daughters, Mona and Sarah.
“Andre is endowed with a singular musical sensibility and power of communication, besides a solid pianistic foundation…In my opinion he possesses all the qualities necessary to become a great pianist.”- Nelson Freire, 1999
“…I have witnessed his great talent and extreme sensibility…his excellent technique and great interpretative capacity…” Prof. Andrzej Pikul, vice-dean of the Academy of Music of Cracow, Poland, 1999
“I was quite touched by his musical sensibility and personality…I wish him a great future in his career.” – Nelson Freire, 2000
“Executing with extreme ability technically complex pieces, the young pianist Andre Karel wins first in the First National Pianarte Competition and confirms supremacy…”. A member of the jury and International Competition winner, Alda Mattos, said, “he plays like a great pianist”. From the Correio Braziliense Newspaper – Article entitled “Talent rigorously tuned”, 2000
In October 2001, he has received the following review concerning one of his performances in the U.S.: Frasunkiewicz´s recent performance of Mussorgsky´s Pictures at an Exhibition at the University of Central Florida was greeted with tumultuous applause by an audience amazed at his authoritative musical insight, interpretive sensitivity, effortless technical expertise and fiery virtuosity. He performed on that occasion for no less a pianist than Julliard faculty member Gyorgy Sandor – former student and leading interpreter of Bartok and author of the book “On Piano Playing” – who cited Mr. Frasunkiewicz´s performance as “an outstanding and beautiful interpretation”.
“I want to thank you for your excellent performances of the Wagner/Liszt transcriptions and the Gondoliera and Canzona. It was very generous of you to prepare this difficult literature on short notice…” words from letter of Thomas Mastroianni (President of the American Liszt Society), June 2002
“First class…” Mark Carrington (Ex “Critic” of the Washington Post and Diretor of the Phillips Collection Recital Series), Washington DC, 2003
“…I know his playing to be of very high pianistic standards…” Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabri (Professor of Piano at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris – Alfred Cortot; Artistic Director, Paris International Piano Sessions)
“ripped extremely excited applause from the audience”) Mariana Fagundes (“Músicos no Palco Cássia Eller”, Brasília 21 de Abril 2010)