SUSANNA HEYSTEK, VIOLA

Hailing from the small town of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Susanna Heystek began her post-secondary studies on violin at the Victoria Conservatory of Music with Michael van der Sloot. In 2017, after trying the viola for a week, she made the switch from violin to viola and has never looked back. That same year, she received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to perform chamber music and collaborate with Canadian Composer David Braid at the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy. In 2018 and 2019 she took part in the NAC Orchestra’s Institute for Orchestral Studies in Ottawa, and performed in the orchestra for three of their concerts, under the direction of guest conductors Pinchas Zuckerman and Bramwell Tovey. She is the winner of the University of Ottawa Concerto Competition, and will be performing the Walton viola concerto with the university orchestra in the fall of 2020. Susanna graduated this year with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa, where she studied with Michael van der Sloot. Throughout her studies, she volunteered and worked for OrKidstra, an El Sistema inspired program that offers free music lessons to children from under-served communities. When Susanna is not performing or teaching music, she works as an interpreter and fiddler at the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, and enjoys hiking in the beautiful mountains near her hometown.