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Paul Suits, Piano

Paul Suits

Paul Suits was born in California and studied for two years at UC Santa Cruz before moving to New York, where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in piano at the Mannes College of Music. In the years after his graduation he lived as free-lance musician in NYC, and met and collaborated for the first time with cellist Eric Bartlett. In 1983 he received a grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst for a year of post-graduate study in Liedbegleitung at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart. This was followed by engagements as coach at the Stadttheater Basel and as head coach at the Luzerner Theater.

Paul Suits performed in the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, at the Murten Festival and was for many years keyboardist in the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester (including performances of Berg’s Kammerkonzert). He was pianist and founding member of the chamber music series Brücken in Basel. On tours to Russia, Israel and South America he performed with the Basler Madrigalisten and he regularly appears as accompanist in song recitals.

Paul Suits composed operas, songs, piano music and choral works, for example the opera Eulenspiegel, Luegenspiele (2004) commissioned by the Musik-Akademie Basel; jüngst und einst, for vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra, (2001) commissioned by the Basler Bach-Chor; as well as his music to Rilke’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke (2017), a commission of the vokalensemble larynx.

Paul Suits has taught for the last 25 years at leading conservatories of Switzerland: from 1993-2008 at the Hochschule der Künste Bern (vocal coach and score-reading), since 2006 at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel (vocal coach), as well as since 1992 at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in Zurich (score-reading) – where he for many years was also musical director of the opera course, initiating performances of, among others, Monteverdis Ulisse in Ritorno alla Patria and Brittens Turn of the Screw. Based upon his vast pedagogical experience and acute interest in the subject, he is currently writing a book on score-reading.