Robert Sims

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.

Sims has been highly praised for his moving interpretations of African American spirituals, and has given numerous recitals throughout the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 2005 he made his recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with the legendary Odetta in a program of American folk songs. He has performed in concert at Lincoln Center, 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 Canti Classics, Community Concerts, and the Live on Stage series, Sims performed more than 150 recitals throughout the US.

Sims has appeared with many orchestras throughout the US. He also toured Japan with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, where he was featured in a nationally televised performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Opening Prayer. Sims has appeared with Mercedes Ellington, David Baker, and Jon Faddis in Duke Ellington’s My People and The Sacred Concerts.

Robert has appeared several times in performance on the Hour of Power from the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, , and was the focus of a Public Broadcasting Service special Artbeat Chicago. He has sung for summer festivals such as 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, and Sims, singing spirituals and American songs.

Robert Sims is an alumnus of Oberlin Conservatory, SUNY Binghamton, Northwestern University, and Music Academy of the West. Visit for more information.

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Jessye Norman