Susanna Henkel was born into a German-Japanese musicians’ family and began to play the violin at the age of two, receiving lessons by her mother, who herself had been studying with the legendary American teacher, Joseph Gingold. At the age of 12 she enrolled at the Music Academy in Freiburg/Germany, receiving lessons by Rainer Kussmaul. She later attended the Munich Academy for five years to complete her studies with Ana Chumachenco.
Already during her studies Susanna Henkel won eminent prizes at international competitions, among them the Mozart Competition in Salzburg and the Tibor Varga Competition in Sion. She won the first prize at the German Music Competition in Berlin, followed by a scholarship by the Mozart Society Dortmund and the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben Trust Award.
Since then, she has worked intensely as a soloist, appearing with leading orchestras, such as the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the orchestras of the SWR and MDR stations, Symphony Orchestras of Aachen and Duisburg, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra and the KBS Symphony Orchestra from Seoul. In 2003 Susanna was engaged as the soloist for the acclaimed Toyota Classics tour, which saw her perform the Mendelssohn violin concerto throughout South-East Asia.
In addition to her career as a soloist, Susanna Henkel is a passionate chamber musician. In 2006 she founded the Zagreb International Chamber Music Festival. 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. Her chamber music partners include Pavel Gililov, Lauma Skride, Itamar Golan, Milana Chernyavska, Jing Zhao and Maxim Rysanov. She is regularly invited to leading international chamber music festivals, such as the Ansbacher Bachwoche, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Rheingau-Musik-Festival and the concerts in the Paris Châtelet Theatre.
During the 2009/2010 season, Susanna Henkel was Artist in Residence of the Duisburg Philharmonic and in this capacity has not only performed and recorded Tschaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, but also took 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, chamber music works of Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofjev and Richard Strauss, solo works of Ysaye, Bartók and Isang Yun and duo works for violin and violoncello by Handel/Halvorsen, Eisler, Schulhoff and Kodály. In 2010 she released a recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra, which won an ECHO Klassik. In 2011 she recorded Mozart violin concertos with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra.
Susanna Henkel is especially committed to caring for future generations; she has been appointed as professor of violin at the Cologne University of Music in 2010.
She performs on the 1710 “Ex Leslie Tate” Stradivarius, kindly loaned by a private proprietor.