Susanna Yoko Henkel belongs to the leading violinists of the young generation. In 2007, the German “Welt am Sonntag” declared her to be one of Anne Sophie Mutter’s heiresses, the renowned US music journal “Strings” featured her on the cover of its January 2007 issue, and her recordings were highly praised in the trade press.
Susanna Yoko Henkel was born into a German- Japanese musical family and began to play the violin at the age of two, receiving lessons from her mother. Later, she received instruction from Conrad von der Goltz. At the tender age of 12, she enrolled at the Academy of Music in Freiburg/Germany, where she became a young protégé of Prof. Rainer Kussmaul. Later, she spent five years completing her studies at the Munich Academy under the tutelage of Ana Chumachenco.
During her studies Susanna Yoko Henkel already won numerous prizes at international competitions, among them the “Queen Elisabeth Competition” in Brussels, the “Mozart Competition” in Salzburg and the “Tibor Varga Competition” in Sion. In 1998 she placed first at the German Music Competition in Berlin, followed by a scholarship from the Dortmund Mozart Society and the “Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben”.
Her achievements in competitions were followed by an intense career as a performing soloist, appearing with leading orchestras such as the Berlin Radio Broadcasting Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestras of the SWR and the MDR Leipzig, the Symphony Orchestras Aachen and Duisburg, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the Mozarteum Salzburg and the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul. In 2003 Susanna Yoko Henkel was engaged as a soloist for the acclaimed “Toyota Classics” tour, leading to performances of the Mendelssohn violin concerto in Southeast Asia.
In addition to her career as a soloist Susanna Yoko Henkel is a passionate chamber musician. In 2006 she founded her own chamber music festival in Zagreb/Croatia. It is now well established as one of the country’s major cultural events and has been televised by Croatian public television HTV since 2007. Among her partners in chambermusic are Itamar Golan, Lauma Skride, Pavel and Maxim Rysanov at renowned music festivals such as the Ansbacher Bachwoche, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Rheingau-Musik-Festival and the concerts in the Paris Chatelet. During the 2009/2010 season, Susanna Yoko Henkel is “Artist in Residence” of the Duisburg Philharmonic and in this capacity will not only perform and record Tschaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, but also take part in several Chamber Music projects
and Youth events.
Her discography includes the Complete Recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, the chamber music works of Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofjev and Richard Strauss, the solo works of Ysaye, Bartók and Isang Yun and duo works for violin and violoncello by Handel/Halvorsen, Eisler, Schulhoff and Kodály.
Susanna Yoko Henkel performs on the 1710 “Ex Leslie Tate” Stradivarius, kindly loaned by a private owner.
Website of Susanna Yoko Henkel