Born in Bezau in Austria, Susanne Simma started playing the bassoon with lessons from Gilbert Hirtz. In 2012, she finished her MA in performance at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, where she was studying with Andrea di Flamineis, Julie Price, Martin Gatt and Martin Field. Her studies were generously supported by the Lions Club of Vorarlberg and she also held two scholarships at the RCM. For her final year, she was awarded the Impuls Privatstiftung and the prestigious Leverhulme Orchestral Mentorship scholarships.
In summer 2010, Susanne finished her Bachelor of Arts at the Landeskonservatorium Vorarlberg with distinction, where she was studying bassoon with Professor Allen Smith and piano with Professor Puryshinskaja Irina. During this time she was twice awarded a scholarship for talented musicians from the county Vorarlberg, Austria. As a soloist Susanne has recently performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto and a modern bassoon composition, Fantasy for a Blue Bassoon, written by Gernot Wolfgang.
Susanne was the principal bassoonist of the Jugendsinfonieorchester Dornbirn, the chamber orchestra Collegium Instrumentale and is a member of the Sinfonieorchester Vorarlberg. During her studies, Susanne took part in both the BBC and the London Symphony Orchestra side-by-side schemes. She also performed regularly in the RCM Symphony orchestra, where she worked with renowned conductors such as Bernhard Haitink, Sian Edwards, Peter Stark and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
In 2011, Susanne was appointed a 'Rising Star' which enabled her to perform in the famous Cadogan Hall, which was followed by performances in prestigious venues such as the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Festival Halls in London. She is member of the Gelachter Trio, the Caglione Quintet with whom she performed for the highly praised opera “Patience” in the Musee d’Orsay in 2011. She performs regularly in chamber music formations both with wind and string ensembles.
Royal College of Music
What is your earliest musical memory?
My grandpa teaching me traditionally Austrian folklore songs and a bit of yodelling.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I would be a lawyer trying to fight for human rights!
What is your most embarrassing or amusing musical moment?
My first concert: My sisters and I were supposed to perform as a Woodwind Trio and while I was walking on the stage, I tripped over a cable and nearly fall down (with my bassoon!). Humour is all : after a good laugh I performed my first little concert!