Susan Sheppard

Role

Professorial Staff - Baroque Cello

Contact details

Address:

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Faculty of Music, King Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, SE10 9JF

Email: [email protected]

Phone One: +44 (0)20 8305 4444

Biography

Susan Sheppard graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 1969. As a modern cellist, she played with the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Susan didn't know anything about the baroque cello, until she met the noted baroque violinist John Holloway in the 1970s, and began to investigate period instruments. Since her mid-twenties, she has played the baroque and classical cello almost exclusively.

Susan soon became one of the UK's busiest performers on period instruments. She was an early member of the Academy of Ancient Music, with whom she played principal cello. The AAM toured in the USA and Europe. In Warsaw, an audience member told her that she was the first baroque cellist in Poland since the 18th century.

Susan Sheppard was principal cello for Roger Norrington’s ground-breaking period instrument productions of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria. She later played principal cello in Norrington’s London Classical Players. In addition to her extensive work with various London-based groups, she played with William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants in Paris for Lully’s Atys, with the Cappella Coloniensis and Sigiswald Kuijken’s La Petite Bande. 

For 13 years, Susan played principal cello with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, of which she is a founder member, working with Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Charles Mackerras, Gustav Leonhardt, Mark Elder and others. 

Susan Sheppard recorded the complete chamber music of G.F. Handel with the ensemble L’École d’Orphée and made the first period instrument recording of all nine Antonio Vivaldi cello sonatas, for CRD records. Her love of the music of J.S. Bach resulted in 1999 in a highly acclaimed recording of the Six Solo Cello Suites (BWV 1007-1012) on CD for Metronome. She was one of the first female cellists to issue a complete recording of these suites.

Qualifications / Educational Background

Susan Sheppard studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Derek Simpson and afterwards with André Navarra. In 2004, after four years of translating Latin on planes and learning Greek verbs on the tube, she was awarded a First class honours degree in Classics from Birkbeck College, University of London. She is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.

Teaching Experience

Susan Sheppard taught baroque cello at the Guildhall School of Music for several years. She now teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music as well as at Trinity Laban. In 2000, she was artist in residence at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, for the 250th anniversary of J.S. Bach's death. She has given master classes and performed the complete solo suites of Bach at Dartington Summer School.

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