Susanne Ortner-Roberts – Clarinet DeutschFlag

„Susanne Ortner […] enchanted with her almost unbelievable witchcraft on the clarinet“

Aichacher Nachrichten


Susanne Ortner-Roberts

Susanne Ortner-Roberts is internationally acclaimed both as a soloist and as a member of the German Klezmer Quartet “Sing Your Soul“, and the Ortner-Roberts Duo.

Her expressive interpretation of Klezmer music is noted for its authenticity, depth, beauty, and warmth. Likewise her performance of the music of jazz clarinetists Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Sidney Bechet and Johnny Dodds has been recognized for its power and authenticity.

After receiving a classical musical education at the former Leopold Mozart Conservatory, Susanne studied at the University of Augsburg. She finished with an MA both in German and music education and taught these two subjects from 2002 till 2006 at the Realschule Vöhringen. Susanne has been accompanying Pittsburgh area Holocaust Survivors in school- and University projects since September 2006, following an invitation by the University of Pittsburgh/ PA. Susanne creates the musical framework for the stories as well as adding her own commentary. In August 2007 she quit her guaranteed lifetime civil servant position to follow her true calling and has been a freelance musician since.

Susanne Ortner-Roberts collaborates with Jazz- and Klezmer musicians from Germany and the USA, such as her husband, pianist Tom Roberts, the Augsburg quartet Sing Your Soul, trumpeter Charlie Caranicas (NYC), and drummer Tom Ellrick (Pittsburgh).

As a serious student of Eastern European Folk music she does research and offers Klezmer Workshops in Germany and in the United States. (e.g. Klezmer workshops at the University of Pittsburgh, a master class for the students of Ron Samuel, Duquesne University, Workshop at the Creative and Performing Arts High School, Pittsburgh, teacher of the klezmer band at the Agency for Jewish Learning, Pittsburgh). Susanne arranges and composes music (e.g. music to “Mazel”, an Amy Hartman play commissioned by the Jewish Theatre of Pittsburgh to tell the story of Holocaust survivor Jack Sittsamer) and has done several book and film projects. She is currently the subject of a biography being written by German Television journalist Helge Fuhst.

She currently resides in Pittsburgh, USA.


„a musician par excellence, who is capable to move you deeply“

Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung

„Susanne Ortner […] seems to be capable of everything (…) Warm, soft tones if necessary, rapid, speedy passages and in addition to this the challenging embellishments, typical for klezmer music, all at breakneck speed and with an almost unbelievable ease.“

Donau Zeitung