Susanne van Els

Susanne van Els (1963) is one of the leading musicians of her generation. She performed as a soloist and a chamber musician, and she ran a most entrepreneurial life in music; combining her own ensembles and projects, like a series of artistically fresh solo CDs, with traveling the world with the Schönberg Ensemble, doing advisory and policy development work whilst undertaking adventurous collaborations with the other arts. Significant composers like Louis Andriessen wrote new viola works for Susanne. Her recording of Ligeti’s viola sonata for Harmonia Mundi won both the Diapason d’Or de l’Année and the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis in 2009.

After this truly satisfying international career, she started to work in higher education. She was the head of classical music department of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. She was responsible for the interdisciplinary projects and joint curriculum at ZUYD Faculty of the Arts. For these institutions, she developed relations with international higher education partners, a.o. in China. She led the European Opera Academy and is currently working in a Strategic Partnership project for new opera making and training. She is a member of the board for innovative initiatives in the arts and she does policy advise coaching and accreditation work.

Susanne is a member of the Learning & Teaching working group of the Strengthening Music in Society project of the Association Européenne Conservatoires. She performed forward-thinking work on assessment and curriculum development in higher music education – recently she presented a keynote speech at the Centre of Excellence in Music Performance Education: ‘How (not) to teach’.