Richard Sussman - Bio
Richard Sussman is a pianist, composer, synthesist, and professor of jazz composition at Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
Over the years, Richard has attained a high level of accomplishment and recognition as a jazz pianist and composer, both as a sideman with various artists, and more significantly, as a leader of various ensembles performing his own uniquely original compositions. His varied career has included performances and/or recordings with Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, Steve Slagle, Randy Brecker, Lee Konitz, Blood Sweat & Tears, David Sanborn, and Donna Summer, among many others. His jazz discography includes two albums of original music as a leader, including “Free Fall” recently re-released on Double-Time Jazz Records.
Richard has also achieved considerable success and recognition as a composer and orchestrator for large ensembles, with a particular focus on the integration of jazz rhythmic and improvisational elements with contemporary classical harmonic and structural techniques.
Writing credits include a commission by the Manhattan School of Music (“Dialogue For Jazz Band & Orchestra” - 2003) and 2 NEA grants in composition for large-scale works for Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra (Suites #1 & 2 for Jazz Band and Orchestra) as well as arrangements for Lionel Hampton, Blood Sweat & Tears, Mel Lewis, Randy Brecker, and others.
As an educator, Richard Sussman has been an integral member of the Jazz Composition Faculty at the highly esteemed Manhattan School of Music in New York City since 1986. His responsibilities at MSM continue to include private composition lessons, teaching and developing curriculum for Jazz Arranging classes, and managing all aspects of the Electronic Music Technology/MIDI Recording Studios for the Jazz Department, including managing the physical facilities, designing curriculum, and teaching various classes at the Undergraduate and Graduate level.
Richard has also achieved success as a composer, performer, and programmer in the realm of MIDI Synthesizers and Commercial Music Production. He participated as Synthesizer Programmer on Randy Brecker's 1998 Grammy winning CD “Into The Sun”. His extensive work in the field of film and television scoring has included projects for ABC, NBC, CBS, Nickelodeon, and Disney.