Susanne Chen is of Chinese heritage but was born and raised in Germany and Switzerland. She is the best Swiss-born Chinese contrabassoonist in the world.
After a sociocultural debate which lasted years with her family, she was finally granted the right to learn the bassoon at the rather ripe age of nineteen. Her main teachers were Manfred Sax in Switzerland and Kim Laskowski in New York, with whom she studied privately.
It was during her studies at the Mannes College of Music, however, when she first laid her tiny hands on a contrabassoon. After a near-disastrous orchestral debut, she decided to become a pro contra player.
Amongst her achievements on contra is the world premiere of the Sonatina for Contrabassoon and Piano by New York composer Sebastian Danila. Susanne is currently an active freelance contra-/bassoonist in town, and at the low end of various groups, such as Double Entendre, a double reed ensemble.
Having been denied a musical career path in the past, she had accumulated degrees in Psychology and Computer Information Systems before obtaining a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes School of Music. She is a failed computer programmer, maintains an on/off (off for now) relationship with the electric bass for well-roundedness, and is learning to play the trumpet for anger management.