Alumni Spotlight

Nick Susi

Nick Susi graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Music in Piano and a minor in German, a pairing that has taken him from Kansas to Michigan to Germany and back. Now at the University of Michigan earning his doctorate in Piano, Nick reflects on the beginning of his journey.

Nick Susi

"I felt exhilarated by the endless challenges of studying and performing music," he said. "It is a field that brilliantly combines aural, visual, kinesthetic, emotional, theoretical and spiritual elements into a cohesive whole."

While he was at KU, Nick learned about the DAAD scholarship, a grant awarded to scholars interested in studying in Germany. The DAAD application process took some time, but he found the effort paid off handsomely. 

"From the very beginning of my studies I wanted to study in Europe at some point, so you could say that winning my DAAD grant after my Master's degree at University of Michigan was the fulfillment of a very long-term goal," he said.

Nick's passion for piano has only been enhanced by his study of the German language, and he credits it with giving him a more native understanding of his music.

"Knowing German as a classical musician comes in very handy," he said. "Not only is it a very international career, but being able to understand opera libretto or utilize resources that haven't been translated into English are big perks. But these are just a few small details — the main thing is that to know a language is to better know the culture."

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