Suzanne Farrin’s music explores the interior worlds of instruments and the visceral potentialities of sound. Her music has been performed by some of the great musicians of today on stages across Europe and North and South America. Tim Page, the former classical music critic of the Washington Post wrote: “If you can imagine the dense, perfumed chords of Messiaen’s piano music combined with the clangorous, insistent, near-pictorial tone-clusters of Frederic Rzewski’s Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, you will have some idea of what Farrin’s work sounds like. Yet it transcends its derivations to leave the distinct impression of its own.” Her music has been featured at venues and festivals including The Gothenburg Art Biennial (with Jacob Kirkegaard), Mostly Mozart, Matrix, Alpenklassik, Music in Würzburg, BAM NextWave, Theaterforum (Germany), Town Hall Seattle, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Symphony Space, the Walker Art Center, SALT (Victoria, BC), Festival Nuevo Mundo (Venezuela), Centro de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Argentina) and New York’s The Stone, Spectrum, Subculture, Miller Theater, Merkin Hall and Joe’s Pub. She has been supported by organizations such as the Philharmonia Society of Bremen, the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet The Composer, the Wachovia Foundation, Concert Artists Guild and New Music USA. Musicians and ensembles who have interpreted her work include the American Composers Orchestra, The League of Composers Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Arditti Quartet, So Percussion and soloists Leonard Elschenbroich (Germany), Ksenija Sidorova (Latvia), Antoine Tamestit (France), Joshua Rubin (USA), Derek Bermel (USA), Kyle Armbrust (USA), Nuiko Wadden (USA), Ben Melsky (USA), and others. Recent radio appearances include a feature on "In-Studio" on WUOL Louisville, KY with pianist Renate Rolfing, "Abono 1110" on Radio Ciudad (Buenos Aires) with Sandra de la Fuente, and Radio Nacional Clásica's "Juego de Cartas" with Laura Novoa (Argentina).
In addition to composing, Suzanne is a performer of the ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument created by the engineer Maurice Martenot in France in the 1920s as a response to the simultaneous destruction and technological advances of WWI. She performed a solo recital at the Abrons Art Center in NYC in March 2016 that included works by Sean Harold (USA), Lars Peter Hagen (Norway), Alvin Lucier, Jacob Kirkegaard (Denmark, co-composed with Suzanne) and Oliver Messiaen. She performed in the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at Georgia Tech and with the Farnorth Collective on a tour of Greenland. She gave a solo recital at the Centro de Artes in Buenos Aires that included works commissioned works as well as Debussy, Varese, Bach and Messiaen. She was recently featured as an ondes soloist in an episode of Mozart in the Jungle with Gael Bernal that was directed by Roman Coppola. Her latest piece, the monodrama Dolce la morte, based on the love poetry of Michelangelo, was commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble and will be premiered by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo at the Vélez Blanco Courtyard at the MET Museum on April 1st, 2016. It was performed again in July 2016 at the Crested Butte Festival in Colorado.
Suzanne is currently Professor and Chair of Music at Hunter College and Professor of Composition at The CUNY Graduate Center. She holds a doctorate in composition from Yale University. Corpo di Terra (New Focus Recordings) is devoted entirely to her music, which may also be heard on the VAI, Signum Classics, Tundra and Albany Records labels. Suzanne will be part of the composition faculty at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in summer 2017.