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"Exceptional pianism through evocative coloring” and “superlative interpretative abilities” (CUE Magazine, 2011) are phrases used to describe the playing of South African pianist Sophié van der Westhuizen. She was the winner of numerous prizes, awards and scholarships during the course of her studies, which culminated in a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy, from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Sophié continues to perform internationally as both soloist and collaborative pianist, with a specialization in piano duo with her husband Pierre. They regularly appear in residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Summer Sonata Festival as guest artists and teachers, and have done the same at the Colorado International Piano Festival, Chautauqua Piano Institute, Kent State University Piano Institute, and CCM at the University of Cincinnati, among others. They received fellowships as Young Artists at the prestigious PianoTexas International Academy and Festival, and were Shouse Artists at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. Their performances are regularly broadcast on radio, including NPR, WCLV, WGTE, and ClassicFM (South Africa), and they are often featured as guest artists at music festivals across the globe. Their performance on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, with live broadcast on NPR, remains a highlight. Most recently, they were the featured guest artists at the 85th Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival in concerto and recital, and also made their New York debut at Steinway Hall. They recorded Francis Poulenc’s music for two pianos for AMP recordings. Sophié has served on the faculty of Heidelberg University, Youngstown State University, University of Mount Union, the Music Settlement, Aurora School of Music and Cleveland State University, and now teaches at Kalamazoo College. She also maintains a private piano studio, ranging from young beginners to adults, and teaches at Interlochen Center for the Arts’ Arts Camp in the summer. Sophié served as director of ArtsConnect, a community outreach program for the Cleveland International Piano Competition and currently serves as chair of the music committee on the board of the Stulberg International String Competition. Sophié is a Steinway Artist.

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