Suzanne Grosvenor

Suzanne Grosvenor

American composer-pianist Suzanne Grosvenor started performing her own compositions at age 8. With an upbringing in classical music, she played piano, violin, cello, clarinet and percussion. She wrote a hit song in her 20s and composed soundtracks for films and documentaries in her 30s. She toured with various music groups and became a session musician.

Suzanne’s music blends classical, atmospheric music, jazz and spontaneous improvisation.  Reviewers describe her music as “EXQUISITE,” “EVOCATIVE” and “UNWORLDLY.” 

Her debut solo album ‘Lantern in the Window’ released in 1984 met rave reviews around the world, touting her “a master of original composition.” The music of her first album evolved during a revolutionary time in Suzanne’s life when she realized she was hearing music in association with life events and people. It led to a career creating personal, custom therapeutic music for individuals and groups in seminars, private meetings and concert settings. Grosvenor is a pioneer in exploring the effects of music on the health and psyche for some 35 years, her work endorsed by health practitioners, counselors and psychotherapists.

Grosvenor’s music has an original sound noted for its emotional quality, depth and subtlety. Reflecting a stillness that is transmittable, her music has been described as “oxygen for the soul” with a capacity for bringing people into states of inner stillness.

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HER STORY
At age 10 Suzanne was guest piano soloist accompanied by a youth orchestra in a performance of Mozart and in her teens was accompanied by youth orchestras, playing piano concertos of Grieg and Kabalevsky. At 17 she was a winner in the Phoenix Young Musicians Concerto Competition. When studying with an instructor from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Suzanne was offered a scholarship to the SF Conservatory. She chose to accept a scholarship to Arizona State University where she undertook an arduous, in depth program reserved for advanced students, exploring the harmony of composition throughout the evolving eras of Western music .

Eager to experience the freedom to improvise and perform her own music, Suzanne toured with an eclectic originals group. When her group signed with Bandolier Records she wrote a song that became a New Wave regional radio hit in 1979. Her group opened in concert for acts such as the Talking Heads with David Byrne.

INFORMATION IN THE MUSIC
The most significant shift in Grosvenor’s music came as she turned 30. She was compelled to sit quietly at the piano each morning, transcribing the sounds she felt and heard. For the first time, she heard music as it related to the present moment and she realized she could focus attention on an object or situation and hear sounds expressing subtle nuances related to it. There was information in the music. She’d been composing music all her life but this was different. A stunning revelation to Suzanne, it was as if this ability had been present all her life and came alive as she allowed space to hear and sense the sounds of life events and people. She spent hours each day at the keyboard, composing a song each day, interpreting sounds note-for-note as they poured out in full-fledged compositions, leaving room for improvisational embellishment. What Suzanne got from intuitive composing was much more than music as it brought a deeper understanding of life and of herself and an ability to intuit and interact more deeply in life.

Suzanne received commissions to compose and produce soundtracks for art films and documentaries airing on PBS, NPR radio, the Disney Channel and live theater production. Several films premiered and won awards at film festivals around the world, including the Hiroshima Film Festival and the American Film Festival. Suzanne became keyboardist with the Don Latarski jazz fusion quintet as the group’s album on Pausa Records went high in the national jazz charts.

In 1984, Grosvenor settled into a solo career, assembling 12 of her most loved compositions on a solo album, released on cassette and then vinyl. ‘Lantern in the Window’ became a regional radio hit receiving rave reviews from around the world.

Suzanne’s music was featured on a CD along with music of David Lanz, George Winston, David Benoit and other artists. When she met Russian conductor-violinist Vladimir Spivakov and he heard her music, he requested that she compose a piece for his orchestra, the renowned Moscow Virtuosi.

One serendipitous day, Suzanne recorded the music she heard emanating from a man as he told a story with a group of friends. When she gave the music to him, her friend felt so moved in hearing it that he asked for an endless tape loop so he could play it nonstop. He felt his life was changed in hearing the music Suzanne gave to him and he sent several of his closest friends to her to experience her gift for ‘Portraits in Sound.’ In private sessions, she improvised extemporaneously as participants sat nearby, listening. Responses to the music were profound, beyond expectation. None had anticipated what would happen as Grosvenor interpreted people’s music, opening them to inner promptings of the soul, bringing memories and dreams to the surface once forgotten or never before realized.

So began Grosvenor’s interactive work with the healing power of sound and music in 1985. Since that time, she has devoted her focus to interpreting the music she hears in private Sound Portrait sessions, Intuitive Music workshops and spontaneous improvisation concerts.

Suzanne released ‘Piano Improvisations I; Light Shining Through’ on CD in 2012, a collection of spontaneous pieces born of healing encounters. Her first album ‘Lantern in the Window’ was re-released digitally in 2012. In 2019 Grosvenor began releasing more of her compositions and improvisations publicly.

 

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