Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5434 USA
- M.M., Pedagogy, University of South Carolina
- B.M., Music Theory, Cleveland Institute
- B.M., Piano, Cleveland Institute
Susan Wiersma Uchimura is a resident artist with the Merling Trio and a member of the piano faculty and staff accompanist at Western Michigan University. Previously she served on the piano faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Augusta College in Georgia, and the accompanying faculties of the Meadowmount School of Music and the Aspen Music School.
Wiersma Uchimura graduated as class valedictorian from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received bachelor of music degrees in theory and piano as a student of Jack Radunsky and Eunice Podis. Ms. Uchimura earned the master of music degree in pedagogy from the University of South Carolina, where she studied under Max Camp and Charles Fugo. She has also studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts and in New York with Dorothy Taubman and Edna Golandsky.
Wiersma Uchimura has performed with major young artists as resident collaborative pianist for the Stulberg International String Competition, the Music Teacher National Association-Wurlitzer Collegiate Artist Competition, and the Pensacola Summer Music Festival. As a faculty member at the acclaimed ENCORE School for Strings for 20 years, she performed with such esteemed alumni as Robert Chan, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony, violinists Stefan Jackiw and Soovin Kim, and Sheryl Staples, Principal Associate Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic. She recently concertized with violinists Scott St. John, Jun-Ching Lin, and Ivan Chan. She is currently official accompanist for the International Cello Institute in Minnesota, where she collaborates with such prestigious cellists as Anthony Ross, principal cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra, Turtle Island String Quartet cellist Mark Summer, and Joshua Koestenbaum, Associate Principal Cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In the summer of 2012, she was resident collaborative pianist for the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition in Morelia, Mexico.
As a member of the renowned Merling Trio, Uchimura has performed in 40 states, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. The trio made their debut China tour in 2017, featuring a week-long residency at the China conservatory in Beijing. The trio has appeared on prestigious series at venues such as Merkin Hall, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the Columbus Museum of Art, to broad critical acclaim. Their latest CD, postcards in e, featuring works of Dvorak and Shostakovich, was recently released by MSR Classics to rave reviews. The Sierra Vista Herald said, “The Merling Trio possesses tremendous talent, ingratiating tone quality, and unlimited technique. They are formidable.” The 2017-18 season will include tours to Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Florida. Of special note next season will be the launch of the Merling’s latest project, “The Great American Songbook”, featuring newly-commissioned arrangements of popular works by composers such as Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Henry Mancini, and Harold Arlen. The trio will be featured in June, 2018, on the final concert of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Concert Series.
Wiersma Uchimura maintains an active private studio. Her students have won major competitions throughout the United States, and she is widely in demand as a clinician and adjudicator.