“Klezmer and Classical Music”

Illertisser Zeitung, August 2nd, 2010

Susanne and Tom Voehringen

Susanne Ortner-Roberts, a former teacher at the Realschule Vöhringen, revisites her old school. Also in the photo is her husband Tom Roberts, who are together the „Ortner-Roberts-Duo“ bildet. Photo: ub

Vöhringen When she stands before the black board, the chalk in her hand, asking questions to the students, you would barely think, that four years ago Susanne Ortner turned her back on the Realschule Voehringen. She wanted to fulfill her life dream, to live for the music, which she so masterfully interprets on her clarinet.

She returned to her former stomping grounds – even though only for a brief visit – and performs with her husband Tom Roberts as „The Ortner-Roberts Duo“, which congenially complement each other with their “Hot World Chamber Music“. While Susanne Ortner was still a teacher for German literature and music education at the Realschule, she devoted herself intensely to klezmer, a musical genre derived from Jewish culture. Today she is at home in almost all cultural styles. Creole influences appear, Swing and Tango electrify. Her play is expressive, technically perfect – she herself remained to be the nice and friendly teacher.

Four years ago she followed the invitation of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania to come to the “New World” and lead projects with area Holocaust survivors. At the moment  Susanne Ortner-Roberts is eagerly working on her international career. She however let it be known that it is not always easy. After all she gave up her secure civil servant status. “Sometimes we don’t know how we can pay next month’ rent”, says Susanne, who lives with her husband in Pittsburgh. But life goes on through performanes, workshops and teaching opportunities at Universities. Her young listeners gave her a rousing ovation for her performance. (ub)