She will perform the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in d minor, BWV 90, by Johann Sebastian Bach; the Fantasia (Variations), Opus 25, by Ben Weber; “Excursions,” Opus 20, by Samuel Barber; and “Carnaval,” Opus 9, by Robert Schumann.
Sims received 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, Germany, winner of the 1993 American Pianists’ Association Competition with outstanding distinction from the jury, and the silver medal in the 1987 Kosciuszcko Foundation Chopin Competition.
She has performed throughout North America, Europe and China including engagements with the NordDeutscheRadio Orchester in Hanover, 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 Alice Tully Hall recital debut in New York in 2000 received critical acclaim from Bernard Holland in the New York Times. She has made seven appearances at the prestigious Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, where she has been featured as solo-recitalist, masterclass artist and chamber artist.
As a chamber musician, she has been featured at the El Paso Chamber Music Festival, Fontana Chamber Players in Kalamazoo and with Opus 21, a chamber ensemble dedicated to the performance of more current compositions. She has recorded a Schumann CD with cellist Natalia Khoma and three sonatas of William Bolcom with violinist Renata Artman Knific.
Sims has been on the faculty at Western Michigan University since 1997. In 2003 she was named the John T. Bernhard Professor of Music, one of 13 named chairs at the university.
She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Peabody Conservatory, her Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Music, and a “Solistendiplom,” or artist diploma, from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover, Germany.
Her concert at Allegheny College is made possible through the generosity of Meadville resident Charles Shortt, in memory of his wife, Meredith, who was also a pianist.