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Conrad Susa Papers 014.019
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This is the personal collection of Conrad Susa (1935-2013), an American composer. This collection includes a rich history of Susa's life from his childhood in Springdale, Pennsylvania, to his death in San Franisco, California. Susa was an award winning composer, serving as the Musical Director for several prominent companies such as the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. His diverse works included chorale compositions, music for live theatrical productions, and four operas. His work "The Dangerous Liaisons" was commissioned by the San Francisco Opera. Along his active work as a composer, Susa was also a teacher, working with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for several years until his death. This collection includes correspondence, working documents, libretti, press clippings, photographic materials, programs, promotional materials, scrapbooks, sheet music, and transcripts. Also included are reference materials Susa used for his various works, two doctoral theses based off of his works, and a collection of various writings he collected as part of his work and/or gifts from friends and colleagues.
Conrad Susa was born in Springdale, PA, on April 26, 1935. Introduced to music at an early age, he performed with his local church, first as a choirboy and then as an organist while at Springdale High School. His music education continued at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now known as Carnegie Mellon University), where he graduated Cum Laude in 1957. Upon completing his degree, Susa attended on scholarship the Connecticut College Modern Dance Festival, earning a diploma following studies on composing for dance performances. He also played for festival dance classes at that time. Susa continued his education at the prestigious Juilliard School under the guidance of William Bergsma and Vincent Persichetti. His work as a composer began in earnest during this time, garnering him awards such as the George Gershwin Memorial Scholarship, two E.J. Benjamin awards, the Marion Ferschl prize, the Alexander Gretchaninoff First Prize, and a Ford Foundation Fellowship between his enrollment and completion of his MS degree in 1961. Also in 1961, Susa was chosen as one of ten composers selected by the Ford Foundation to participate in a festival honoring Igor Stravinsky in Santa Fe, NM. During this time in 1959, Susa also began to work with the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego as the Composer-in-Residence, a post he held until 1994. Along with the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, he worked as the Musical Director for the APA-Phoenix Repertory Theatre Company, New York, NY (1961-1968) and the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy (1969-1971). Susa also created compositions for theatre, documentary films, and chorale groups, and television (well over a hundred works). His works have been performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Stratford Shakepeare Festival, the Seattle Repertory Company, the American Conservatory Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, the Center Theatre Group, and the Mark Taper Forum, among others.
120.0 Linear feet 60 records cartons, 19 flat file boxes
Museum of Performance + Design holds property rights. Copyright of all original works by Conrad Susa belongs to the Susa Family Trust. All other copyright belongs to identified creators.
Most of the collection is open to researchers. Exceptions include the Personal Correspondence subseries and the Financial Documents subseries. Due to highly personal information in these series, access will be granted on a case-by-case basis.