Guitarist Susan McDonald

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About Susan

"Joy... Skill... Insight..."
    - New Classics -


Susan McDonald has delighted audiences the world over- from the Amazon to Iraq and community concerts to Carnegie Hall. Her audiences have ranged from Holocaust survivors in Vienna to the President of the United States, and her music has been enthusiastically received in concert halls, universities, festivals, schools and hospitals. At her Carnegie Hall debut, the New York Concert Review described her performance as " of the most satisfying recitals in recent memory...all the skill and insight that a Bel Canto master brings to a Bellini cadenza...masterful Bach playing..."  

A protegee of the legendary Pepe Romero, Susan started playing guitar at the age of six. Her studies took her from the University of St. Thomas in Houston to the Mozarteum in Salzburg and finally to a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. Susan's many recordings and live performances have been heard on radio and television broadcasts worldwide.   

Becoming known as an exciting composer with recent features in Soundboard and on the internationally syndicated radio program Classical Guitar Alive (her music has been described as "brilliant" by New Classics) , Susan has created an art form which she calls "Animal Ballets," in which she combines her original music and video footage to create sublime live performances in which animals are the "dancers" and she is their "orchestra." Her newest Animal Ballet, Yasun: Dances from the Rainforest  features her music combined with video footage from her travels deep into the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Increasingly, her passion and energy is being directed towards bringing music to people in regions of conflict or isolation.  Through her nonprofit organization, Remember the River, she works to support artists in conflict zones through teaching, mentorship and donations of musical instruments and art supplies.

As a passionate advocate of arts in the classroom and with marginalized communities, she works domestically with Young Audiences of Houston and serves as Artistic Director for Fine Arts Foundation. She is Director of Guitar for YES Academies in Iraq and Lebanon and has recently finished serving her fourth term on the Touring Roster of Texas Commission on the Arts and the Mid-America Arts AllianceSusan McDonald has released ten CDs on the Mayfly label.

Watch a live performance of Merlin's Suite del Recuerdo

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"Susan McDonald filled the audience with enthusiasm...
all the listeners were entranced..." 

Rhein-Neckar Zeitung -

"She sat in a long red dress...her eyes shut and her fingers running over the strings, completely absorbed in the music and the feeling she was communicating... I saw the tremor of excitement ripple through the crowd." 

- Jewish Herald Voice -

"Standing ovations at the end of her program led Susan McDonald to play three more of the very greatest of her profession." 

- Weinheimer Nachrichten -