Susanna Borsch

Susanna Borsch

photo by Emily Kocken

A recorder virtuoso familiar in both contemporary and early music, Susanna Borsch is one of the few instrumentalists able to bridge both styles of music with complete ease. She began recorder lessons with Silke Kühner at the age of nine, and in 1994 began studying at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatorium with Walter van Hauwe, finishing her teaching diploma 1998. The same year saw her begin postgraduate studies, specialising in the amalgamation of the recorder with live electronics. This project cumulated in the year 2000 with her final solo examination, featuring many new works written especially for her and this combination, by composers such as Mike Vaughan, Merlijn Twaalfhoven and Paul Leenhouts.

After many years of taking part with great success in Germany\'s Jugend musiziert competition, she founded the recorder trio Les Doux Siffleurs, which in 1995 won top prizes at both The German National Music competition in Bonn and the International recorder symposium in Calw. Three years later, she won third prize in the solo competition at the same event, stunning audiences with a daring mixture of ancient and modern music. In 1998, she took a major part both as soloist and ensemble member in the \'2nd International Recorder Week\' at \'de Ysbreker\', the internationally renowned modern music venue in Amsterdam. In 1999, she deputised at very short notice in the celebrated Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, subsequently joining them on their USA tour the following year.

In 2003 she founded with Peter Van Heyghen and Sebastien Marq, the six-piece specialist recorder ensemble Mezzaluna; a formation committed to exploring the depth of renaissance vocal polyphony of the early 16th century, using instruments closely based on surviving originals from the same epoch.

Susanna Borsch is a founding member and manager of the Axyz Ensemble, a larger contemporary ensemble of diverse musicians and composers. This group was a natural offshoot from the Karnatic Lab, the influential Amsterdam music club responsible for re-writing the Dutch contemporary scene over the last few years. The Karnatic Lab, of which Susanna is a board member, is a loose formation of musicians in association with several contemporary composers working in the Karnatic, or southern Indian tradition. This initial impulse has in recent years, given way to a wider remit, encompassing many different styles of music written essentially using non-western techniques.

Hexnut (flute, recorder, trumpet, voice and piano) is a band formed in 2004 with a similar background. The music of Hexnut is essentially a new music, mixing styles, sounds and playing techniques from contemporary classical, jazz, metal, improvisation, Indian, Balkan and cartoon music. While mostly composed, the pieces also exploit plenty of improvisation and theater.

In 2004 Susanna joined the Amsterdam based group ELECTRA, a four-member modern music ensemble that combines the latest new music with visual and theatrical elements.

www.susannaborsch.com

Recorder player Susanna Borsch deserves special mention for her virtuosity throughout, most notably in “Workshop,” combining American irreverence with a "New Dutch" rhythmic drive. (...) Guy Livingston about Ned McGowan's CD "Tools"