Obituary: Composer Conrad Susa, 78

Posted on: November 26, 2013

In Monday’s (11/25) New York Times, Margalit Fox reports, “Conrad Susa, a composer for the voice, for the theater and for the operatic stage … died on Thursday at his home in San Francisco. He was 78. Mr. Susa, who had been in declining health for some time, died in his sleep, said his executor, the composer Byron Adams. At his death, Mr. Susa was a professor of composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he had taught since 1988.” Trained at Carnegie Mellon University in his native Pittsburgh and at the Juilliard School, Susa had from 1959 to 1994 served as composer in residence at San Diego’s Old Globe Theater, for which he composed “more than 200 suites of incidental music, notably for Shakespearean works.” His five operas included Transformations, premiered by Minnesota Opera in 1973 and subsequently “produced throughout the country,” and The Dangerous Liaisons, commissioned by San Francisco Opera and premiered by that company in 1994. “Mr. Susa’s work, tonal and melodic, ranged across a spate of styles: a single composition might incorporate aspects of Baroque music, tango and jazz. While some reviewers appeared discomforted by his eclecticism, many others praised his lyricism and lush sonorities.”


Posted November 26, 2013