Pierre van der Westhuizen, Executive and Artistic Director, came to The Gilmore in January 2018 after leading the Cleveland International Piano Competition for six years. He is a seasoned arts administrator, concert pianist and academic. A native of South Africa, van der Westhuizen earned his Bachelor of Music from Northwest University in Potchefstroom, South Africa and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
He and his wife Sophié often perform as the Westhuizen Duo and held teaching posts in piano at Heidelberg University in Ohio, where they developed a piano competition and festival over their six-year tenure. Recruited to the Cleveland International Piano Competition (CIPC) in 2011, van der Westhuizen transformed the competition from a single event into a full-fledged arts organization by developing a festival approach.
Van der Westhuizen has served as juror for several international competitions including the Cleveland, Scriabin (Italy), MozArte (Germany), and UNISA (South Africa) international piano competitions. He regularly lectures on arts administrative topics, as well as teaching master classes at institutions such as Cleveland Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Young Pianist’s Academy, and the Colorado International Piano Festival. Van der Westhuizen also served on the boards of the Yun Foundation (Philadelphia) and Magistera Soloists (Canada), as well as the Honorary Committee for Astral Artists (Philadelphia) and currently on the Advisory Board for the Avery Fisher Career Grants in New York.