Beth Sussman earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from The Juilliard School by the age of 21, on full scholarship. She was awarded the Charles Petschek Prize in Piano for three consecutive years while at Juilliard, and the Maro Ajemian Prize upon graduation. While a student, she was selected to perform as soloist with The Juilliard Symphony at Lincoln Center. Performing highlights include a European tour with the Iris Trio and solo recitals at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, The Ravinia Festival (summer home of the Chicago Symphony), and The Chautauqua Music Festival. She has given live recitals on radio stations across the country and performed for mayors, ambassadors, and movie stars. She released a CD of Gershwin’s piano music in 2000, and a television pilot loosely based on her life, executive produced by Kelsey Grammer for Paramount Pictures Television.
Beth performs and presents workshops and residencies, introducing students to classical music. Her goal is to make classical music accessible for all to enjoy. She is a master teaching artist at The Music Center, where she was a lead artist for the Institute for Educators from 2008-13. Her lessons have been translated into several languages and are used in many parts of the world. She is also a master teaching artist at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Beth is in high demand leading professional development for teachers, developing teacher-friendly lessons that connect the arts to academic curriculum.
These exciting and highly interactive workshops, titled Classical Connections, use classical music, as well as movement and literature as gateways to concepts required by the California standards. Beth makes connections with these concepts in numerous ways, reaching students with various learning styles, including kinetic, linguistic, musical, bodily-kinetic, spatial/visual, intrapersonal, and logical/mathematical. At each session, Beth plays some of the world’s greatest classical music and teaches musical vocabulary. Students are asked to respond to the music and participate in activities throughout each session. The musical selections are short and age appropriate, and become more complex as the sessions progress, and as the students’ musical language, taste, and verbal expression become more sophisticated (composers include Brahms, Schumann, Bartok, Mozart, Beethoven and many others).