“Exceptional pianism through evocative coloring” and “superlative interpretative abilities” (CUE Magazine) 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 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 performers, teachers and judges, and have done the same at the Colorado International Piano Festival, Chautauqua Piano Institute, and Kent State University Piano Institute, 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. The duo recorded Francis Poulenc’s music for two pianos for AMP recordings. Sophié is currently on faculty at Cleveland State University, and has served on the faculty of Heidelberg University, Youngstown State University, University of Mount Union, the Music Settlement and Aurora School of Music. She also maintains a private studio with students ranging from beginners to other professional piano teachers. Sophié is also director of ArtsConnect, a community outreach program for the Cleveland International Piano Competition.
Sophié is an International Steinway Artist.