„With so many of today’s young firebrands driving through Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto at express speed, it is good to find Susanna Yoko Henkel presenting a performance that reminds one of the musical integrity of David Oistrakh.“ The Strad Magazine/July 2012
In 2011, Susanna Yoko Henkel was awarded with the prestigious „ECHO Klassik“ award for her live recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.
This award, which has often been quoted as the „European Grammy“, has carried the young violinist into the centre of high media interest, which has led to appearances in the most popular German TV-shows and introduced her to a large audience.
In October 2012, Susanna Yoko Henkel made her debut in the sold-out Philharmonie in Cologne/Germany. Since many years she is appearing regularly with leading European orchestras such as the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Sinfonieorchester Mozarteum Salzburg, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and many others.
The Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra chose her as „Artist in Residence“ in 2009/2010, followed by a close collaboration. In June 2013, Susanna Yoko Henkel will perform the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra; the German State Television “WDR” will broadcast this live-performance.
Susanna Yoko Henkel has already released 7 CDs, which have all been highly praised by leading music journals. The German „Welt am Sonntag“ has elected her as one of Anne-Sophie Mutter’s heiresses, and the U.S. music magazine „Strings“ honored her with a cover story in 2007.
Her discography includes all Bach Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo, chamber music by Ravel, Prokofjev/Strauss violin sonatas, solo works by Ysang Yun, Bartok and Ysaye, duo works for violin and cello by Händel/Halvorsen, Eisler, Schulhoff and Kodaly, and the live-recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, which has won the „ECHO Klassik“ award in 2011.
In October 2011 Susanna Yoko Henkel released her latest CD with Mozart Violin Concertos. For this recording, she directed a chamber orchestra for the first time and wrote all cadenzas herself.
Susanna is currently working on different new CD projects, which will be released in 2013/14.
Born and raised in a German-Japanese family of professional musicians, Susanna Yoko Henkel started playing the violin already at age two, starting with her mother. She was mainly trained by the legendary violin pedagogue Ana Chumachenco in Munich; before that she was receiving lessons as a young student of the former concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Rainer Kussmaul. Already during her early studies she has won many prestigious prizes at international competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, the Mozart Competition in Salzburg and the Tibor Varga Competition in Sion.
In 1998, Susanna Yoko Henkel has won the first prize at the German Music Competition in Berlin. She has also has received scholarships by the Mozart Gesellschaft Dortmund and the German Foundation „Musikleben“.
Besides her work as a soloist, Susanna Yoko Henkel is also a dedicated chamber musician. In 2006 she founded her own chamber music festival in Zagreb/Croatia, which belongs to the leading cultural events in Croatia. Her chamber music partners include, among others, Gabriela Montero, Lauma Skride, Pavel Gililov, Milana Chernyavska, Radovan Vlatković, Jing Zhao and Maxim Rysanov.
The festival’s live-broadcasts have been released on „YouTube“ and have reached more than one million views so far.
Susanna Yoko Henkel holds a professorship at the „Hochschule für Musik und Tanz“ in Cologne and at the Music Academy in Zagreb.
Susanna Yoko Henkel plays on the „Ex Leslie Tate“ Stradivarius from 1710, generously loaned by a private proprietor.