Conrad Susa

Conrad Susa

Conrad Stephen Susa (born 26 April 1935) is an American composer, particularly known for his operas.[1] His 1973 chamber opera, Transformations, set to texts from the poems of Anne Sexton, is one of the most frequently performed operas by an American composer and was one of the featured operas of the 2006 Wexford Opera Festival.[2][3] His other compositions include choral works and incidental music for various plays. His music is published by the E.C. Schirmer Music Company.[4]

Susa was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania and educated at Carnegie Institute of Technology and the Juilliard School, where his teachers included William Bergsma, Vincent Persichetti and, so he says, P. D. Q. Bach.[4] In 1988 he joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he is Chair of the Composition Department.[5]

Selected works


  • Transformations (1973)
  • Black River (1975, revised 1981)
  • The Love of Don Perlimplin (1984)
  • The Wise Woman (1994)
  • The Dangerous Liaisons (1994, revised 1996-97)

Other works

  • Hymns for the Amusement of Children (1972)
  • Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest (1992)


  1. ^ Adams, Byron. ""Susa, Conrad (Stephen)"", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed 6 June 2010), (subscription access).
  2. ^ Hall, George, Review: Transformations, The Stage, 30 October 2006 (accessed 6 June 2010)
  3. ^ Adams, Byron. "Susa, Conrad (1935) in Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. London: Taylor & Francis, 2000, p. 851. ISBN 0815318804
  4. ^ a b E.C. Schirmer Music Company, Composer biography: Conrad Susa (accessed 6 June 2010)
  5. ^ San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Faculty biography: Conrad Susa (accessed 6 June 2010)

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