Susan Poliniak About Me

New York City-based conductor, composer, musician, and music journalist Susan Poliniak made her professional conducting debut in 1999 for Sony Classical, as the music director of their promotional concerts for the soundtrack to the Mike Leigh film Topsy-Turvy. She also contributed liner notes to this album, as well as Sony's The Best of Gilbert & Sullivan. Further conducting engagements have included, among others, work with the Westchester Oratorio Society, Columbia Artists (CAMI) Hall for The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of NY, and various houses of worship. In 2011, Susan became the first female and non-LGBT guest conductor of the Queer Urban Orchestra.

While still an undergraduate, Susan made her professional vocal debut in the chorus of The Pennsylvania Opera Theater, with whom she continued to sing for three seasons. She has performed in numerous stage productions, recitals, concerts, and religious services in New York (including Off-Broadway), Pennsylvania, California, and elsewhere, and in 1999, was a Muppeteer Trainee with the Jim Henson Company. For seven years she held the post of soprano soloist/cantor at Holy Trinity Chapel in Greenwich Village. A classical guitarist for over thirty years, Susan has performed in a number of venues in the Mid-Atlantic area, and spent two years playing domra and other Eastern European folk instruments with the legendary (and now, sadly, defunct) Penn Balalaika Orchestra. For five years, she played piano and orchestral percussion with the Big Apple Corps, including their 2003 performance at Carnegie Hall with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus.

Susan Poliniak

Susan's compositional credits include the scores to the independent short films Vegetables (2006 Festival Internacional de Cortometraje de Bilbao, 2007 New European Film Festival) and Twinkletoes, and the independent feature film All in Theory, as well as arrangements for Tutti Harps, music for Byte Interactive and various websites, and sacred pieces that have been performed in NYC churches. A proud member of ASCAP, she has won an ASCAPlus Award every year since 2003.

Susan's experience as a music journalist has been diverse: liner notes, artist and recording reviews, magazine articles, and many others. She is currently a regular contributor to MENC's Teaching Music magazine, particularly on the subjects of vocal/choral technique and repertoire, music royalties, and copyright law. For over a decade, Susan was the Educational Director of Cherry Lane Music Publishing, where her publications won numerous awards (Music Publishers Association of the U.S. Paul Revere Awards, DRUM! Magazine Drummies, etc.), and for whom she has also created jazz arrangements and recorded as a classical guitarist.

Susan Poliniak

Susan holds a Bachelor's degree in English and Music Theory from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master's degree in Vocal Performance from New York University. Further studies have included work in conducting, composition, orchestration, film scoring, and jazz piano at the Mannes College of Music. She is a proud member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Fraternity, American MENSA, and the Screen Actors Guild.