The Austrian love of sweets, the penchant for charm and wit; these are the ingredients that shaped the Viennese version of the piano in its first century. The composers who wrote for this instrument explored all the possibilities with prodigious invention. They wrote passages that are dramatic and portentious, and yet the music sparkles with the fine-boned delicacy of a china figurine. They explored the limits of length and breadth, high and low, and they especially loved to play quickly. Susan Adams takes special delight in the hair-trigger action and lightning response of the Viennese piano.
Susan Adams was born in Ottawa into a family that encouraged music study. She began playing at the age of four, and started taking lessons when she was six years old. Susan studied the piano privately in Ottawa with Jaromey Anderson and under Boris Roubakine at the University of Calgary, both of whom were dedicated and generous teachers.
Later she studied early keyboard instruments and related subjects with many fine musicians at the Schola Cantorum in Basel Switzerland. She majored in harpsichord with Jean-Claude Zehnder, with whom she also studied continuo and organ, and she took fortepiano lessons with Klaus Linder. Improvisation and choral singing rounded out the program. Susan especially enjoyed playing the well-maintained collection of instruments at the Schola. Travels to Holland enabled her to have coaching from Gustav Leonhardt. Returning to Canada Susan continued performing the works of Bach, Couperin, Rameau and Scarlatti on an ever-widening variety of harpsichords, and the music of Haydn, Mozart and J.C. Bach on the fortepiano and antiques.