William Susman belongs to the generation of American composers that came of age in the late twentieth century, received traditional academic training while remaining thoroughly engaged with popular music (in his case, jazz). Susman has written orchestral and chamber music for concert performance, as well as jazz and film scores. more...


"...textually shimmering and harmonically ravishing..."
– Gramophone
"...the next developments in the sphere (of) minimalism..."
– All Music
"...heavily minimalist-tinged music offers constant delight...impeccably crafted..."
– Fanfare
"...a beautifully eccentric segmented ballet simultaneously restrained and exuberant, more than once ecstatic."
– Folk & Acoustic Music
".. vivid, turbulent, rich-textured..."
– New York Times
"A flawless gem...rare beauty and consummate aesthetic discretion."
– Folk & Acoustic Music
"...wonder, beauty and melancholy... richly varied in orchestration and mood..."
– All Music



Fordlandia at Fort Worth Opera Frontiers
Fordlandia, a family drama about the struggle between Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, over the leadership and future of Ford Motor Company will be featured at the Fort Worth Opera Frontiers Showcase taking place May 2-3, 2018. Frontiers 2018 press release.
San Jose Chamber Orchestra Commission
A new work for string orchestra that draws on California's diverse and beautiful natural landscape with dazzling computer-generated art images by mathematician and artist Frank Farris. The orchestra performs with these fantastical symmetric creations projected overhead in a fusion of music and vibrant animated mathematical imagery. Learn more about the work of Frank Farris. Premiere Date: March 25, 2018 with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Barbara Day Turner, cond.
HASKALAH on tour
Organized Rhythm took Haskalah on the road from October 22, 2017 to Novemeber 3, 2017. This recently commissioned piece for marimba and organ was written for Joseph Gramley, multi-percussion and Clive Driskill-Smith, organ. The tour began in Rye, NY with stops in Louisville, Nashville, Highlands Ranch (CO), Ann Arbor, and Detroit.

Music, Polyphony and Polyrhythm

Thoughts on Contemporary Music

Clave Patterns in Quiet Rhythms

In the Action of Quiet Rhythms no.1, the clave appears immediately in the right-hand in measures 1 and 2 playing a 3-2 clave over the left-hand playing a 2-3 clave. Layering the clave in both hands creates a 3 over 2 polyrhythm in measure 1 and, a 2 over 3 polyrhythm in measure 2 and, […]


Previous Entries

Clave Patterns in Quiet Rhythms
Composer/Percussionist Olivia Kieffer Talks About Arranging and Performing
Writing for Percussionists
The Video Art of Valeria Di Matteo
National Gallery of Art to Screen Native New Yorker
Camille on Relevant Tones
Album of the Week
Experiencing a Live Performance
Album of the Month at textura