Susan Olenwine

Boulder Concert Chorale/Chamber Chorale Pianist

Susan Olenwine has been a collaborative pianist long before the term was created. In her years at Manhattan School of Music, where she earned both BMus and MMus degrees, she was able to develop her skills playing with fellow vocal and instrumental students and professionals. Her teachers there were Artur Balsam and Constance Keene, and she had additional studies in collaboration with Samuel Sanders at Juilliard.

She took a detour and entered the field of music administration and held management positions with orchestras, Connecticut Public Radio, and eventually Yale School of Music where she was the Director of Finance and Administration. During those years in Connecticut, Ms. Olenwine was well known as a recitalist and ensemble musician.  In 2001 she traveled with the Yale Alumni Chorus to Russia, England, and Wales and was the featured soloist with the Bolshoi Chamber Orchestra at Tchaikovsky Hall, and with London’s Royal Philharmonic in St. Paul’s Cathedral.  She also concertized in Austria and Denmark appearing as soloist there with the United States Air Forces Band. She was the pianist for various choral ensembles, the Bridgeport Symphony, and Orchestra New England. It was during those years that she also earned an MBA.

A second detour took Ms. Olenwine to Reno where she combined her administrative and collaborative skills to be Development Director for the Reno Chamber Orchestra, while being staff pianist at the University of Nevada/Reno, various choruses, Nevada Opera, and partner for many soloists.

She finally arrived in Boulder where she returned to studies and earned another (yet another) MMus at CU, this time in the formalized specialty of Collaborative Piano. (If you want a lecture on this, refer to her as an ‘accompanist’ and learn why this is not an appropriate reference.) Since graduating Ms. Olenwine has continued to be active as a partner to professional and student musicians; she teaches at the Center for Musical Arts, is involved with many arts organizations in areas of fundraising, and is the pianist for the Boulder Chorale and Longmont Symphony.

“. . . pianist Susan Olenwine, whose sensitivity, dynamic control, and idiomatic sympathy make her an ideal partner.”  Fanfare Magazine