Robert Sims, Gold Medal winner of the American Traditions Competition, has been hailed by critics for his rich tone, energetic performances, and convincing stage presence.
Mr. Sims has been highly praised for his moving interpretations of African American spirituals, and has given numerous recitals of them throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He recently made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall, and has performed in concert at Lincoln Center in New York, the Smithsonian Institution, the Los Angeles African American Museum, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the Chicago Historical Society, the Latour de France International Music Festival in France, and the celebrated American Church in Paris. Under the auspices of the Community Concerts and Live On Stage Series, Sims performed more than 150 recitals throughout the United States.
Robert Sims has appeared with many orchestras in this country, and toured Japan with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra where he was featured in a nationally televised performance of Bernstein's Opening Prayer. He has appeared with Mercedes Ellington and David Baker in Duke Ellington's My People and The Sacred Concerts and has shared the stage with the legendary ODETTA in a duo concert of spirituals and blues.
Robert has appeared several times in performance on the Hour of Power from the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, which is broadcast internationally, and was the focus of a Public Broadcasting Service special Artbeat Chicago. Among the summer festivals that Sims has sung for include Chautauqua, Yachats, Grant Park, Big Arts, and the Ravinia Music Festival. He also toured nationally in the ensemble Three Generations, a celebration of American spirituals and folk songs with renowned artists George Shirley, the late William Warfield and Benjamin Matthews. Recently, he debuted with Simon Estes and Jubilant Sykes in the trio Simon, Sykes & Sims, singing spirituals and American songs.
Sims premiered the spiritual suite, I'm a Soldier, for baritone and orchestra composed for him by Lena McLin and orchestrated with Jan Bach. The work debuted with the Savannah Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Chelsea Tipton.
After winning the Friedrich Schorr Opera Award, Mr. Sims appeared in Massenet's Cendrillon, which won the National Opera America Award. He made his Goodman Theater debut in Kurt Weil's Lost In the Stars under the direction of Frank Galati, and sang the role of Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Opera Carolina. His other operatic credits include roles in Romeo et Juliette and Die Zauberflöte, Porgy and Bess, La Traviata, IPagliacci, Cosi Fan Tutte and Le Nozze di Figaro.
Mr. Sims' artistry is highlighted on four compact discs produced by Canti Classics: Soul of a Singer, Sims Sings Copland and Spirituals, In The Spirit, and Three Generations. He is also featured as a guest artist on two recordings with the Moses Hogan Chorale: Deep River, and Gotta Home in Dat Rock.
Robert Sims is an alumnus of Oberlin Conservatory, SUNY Binghamton, Northwestern University, and Music Academy of the West.
Artistic Diploma, Northwestern University