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WMU music professor to perform at Carnegie Hall

by Mark Schwerin

April 20, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of pianist Lori Sims.
Pianist Lori Sims
KALAMAZOO--Internationally known pianist Lori Sims, the John T. Bernhard Professor of Music at Western Michigan University, will perform for a second time at Carnegie Hall.

Sims will perform in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, May 7, as part of Hausmusik's 15th anniversary celebration. Sims, the Gina Bachauer Gold Medalist in 1998, will perform a concert in tribute to the late pianist William Masselos featuring works associated with him by Aaron Copland, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, Ben Weber, Samuel Barber and Clara and Robert Schumann. One of the most respected pianists of his time, William Masselos was an heir to the Schumann tradition having studied with disciples of Clara Schumann.

Sims is a founding artist of Hausmusik, a non-profit organization founded in 1995 that strives to help emerging and dedicated classical music artists achieve greater recognition. Based in Coopersburg, Penn., the organization is managed by patrons who donate their time, monetary support and professional expertise to advance this mission.

Sims is no stranger to stages at high-profile New York performance venues. In 2007, she performed in Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall and, in 2000, she performed in concert at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.

Sims has won a long list of honors for her performing. In addition to the Gold Medal at the 1998 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, where she also won the prize for the best performance of a work by Brahms, her other awards include first prize co-winner of the 1994 Felix Bartholdy-Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin, winner of the 1993 American Pianists' Association Competition with outstanding distinction from the jury, and the silver medal winner in the 1987 Kosciuszcko Foundation Chopin Competition.

While a student, Sims received numerous awards, including the Dean's Prize for Most Outstanding Graduating Student at the Yale School of Music and a Deutsche Akedemische Austauschdienst two-year fellowship from the Federal Republic of Germany.

She has performed throughout North America, Europe and China including engagements with the NordDeutscheRadio Orchester in Hannover, the Israel Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Spokane Chamber Orchestra, the Denver Chamber Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Rockford Symphony and the Kalamazoo Symphony. Her New York City recital debut in 2000 at Lincoln Center received critical acclaim in The New York Times, a concert in which she debuted the award winning Etudes of WMU music professor and composer Curtis Curtis-Smith. In 2010, she made her sixth appearance at the prestigious Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, where she has been featured as solo-recitalist, master class artist and chamber musician.

Sims has been at WMU since 1997. In 2003, she was named the John T. Bernhard Professor of Music, one of 13 named chairs at the University. As an artist-teacher, she has appeared two summers at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and for seven summer sessions at the Internationale Konzertarbeitswochen in Goslar, Germany.