Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5434 USA
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. 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, Music Teacher National Association-Wurlitzer Collegiate Artist Competition, Encore School for Strings, and the Pensacola Summer Music Festival. She recently concertized with violinists Scott St. John, Jun-Ching Lin, and Ivan Chan. She is currently official accompanist for Cello: An American Experience 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 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. The trio's 2013–14 season includes tours to Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, California, and Nevada. Their latest CD, "postcards in e," featuring works of Dvorak and Shostakovich, was recently released by MSR Classics to broad critical acclaim.
Wiersma Uchimura maintains an active private studio. Her students include winners of the Kalamazoo Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Fort Wayne Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Youth Soloist Auditions, the Michigan Music Teachers Association State Student Day, the Lansing Symphony Concerto Competition, Spotlight on Youth, and the Grand Rapids Bach Festival.
Wiersma Uchimura has been a member of the board of directors of the Michigan Music Teachers Association. She has served frequently as an adjudicator and has presented numerous workshops and master classes throughout the United States. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society.