Sophia Gilmson, Russian-born pianist, graduated cum laude from the Lenigrad (St Petersburg) Conservatory, where she studied with Professor Vitaly Margulis. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the First Prize in the Young Artists Competition in New York City, which was followed by a recital in Carnegie Hall, and the Piano International Recording Competition. Radio Leningrad, Radio Vatican, WQXR and WNYC in New York City, among others, have broadcasted her performances.
She has concertized extensively in Europe and the United States to a high critical acclaim. Carl Cunningham of The Houston Post described Gilmson’s playing as a “…brilliant, driving performance.” Michael Huebner, of the Austin-American Statesman, referred to her performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations as “one of the most refreshing and thought-provoking performances this season.” In 2001, she was awarded the prestigious Mount Everest Award by the Austin Critics Table for this performance in which she played the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord and piano in the same evening. Michael Barnes, chief arts critic of the Austin American-Statesman at that time, ranked this as one of the top ten arts events of 2001, calling it “unforgettable.” In the celebration of its 20th anniversary, Austin’s Performing Arts Center included this concert in the list of twenty most memorable programs of its history, one per year.
Sophia Gilmson is active as a teacher as well as a performer. Her students have won major prizes on national, and international levels. Her unique pedagogical skills are universally recognized at both pre-college and collegiate levels. She has received an array of excellence in teaching awards, including the 2001 Collegiate Teaching Achievement Award of Texas.
A dedicated educator, Sophia Gilmson is the co-founder of both the Houston and Austin Young Artists Concerts designed for musically gifted children. Sophia served as an artistic director for both programs for twenty years, since its inception in 1987 to 2007. These programs were hailed as “outstanding,” “fabulous,” “unique,” and “cultural treasures” by musicians from all over the country.
She presented papers, master-classes and lectures at the World Piano Pedagogy and Music Teachers National Association Conferences as well as various international music festivals and conferences.
She has been published in Keyboard Companion, the official journal of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.
Sophia Gilmson has been on the faculty of the University of Texas Butler School of Music since 1993.