Susan Williams

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Started in: 2012
End date: 2019
Musician type: wind, other
University: Leiden University
Personal website:
Nationality: Australia

Susan Williams is one of the world’s most well known specialists in baroque trumpet and has been performing and recording with many of Europe’s finest early music ensembles since the 1990s, as soloist, chamber musician and in orchestras. She has performed under such conductors as Gustav Leonhard, Philippe Herrewege, William Christie, Frans Bruggen, Daniel Harding and many others. In addition she has directed projects and has founded her own group – Clarini, which focuses on music featuring natural trumpet. Her approach to playing and teaching is based on a rhetorical style that emphasizes the use of nuance, colour and articulation in order to show the rich possibilities and many voices of the natural trumpet.

She teaches at The Royal Conservatorium of The Hague (since 1989) and the University of the Arts in Bremen (since 2004), as well as giving yearly workshops in various other institutions. In addition to teaching natural trumpet and leading ensemble projects and workshops, Susan is involved in research in the field of performance science. She is giving courses in practicing and performance preparation in both institutions. In 2013 Susan organized an international conference ‘From Potential to Performance’ hosted by The Royal Conservatorium The Hague, which was enjoyed by many of its teachers and students. She is part of an international workgroup together with colleagues from the Sibelius Academy Finland, Cork School of Music, Ireland and Griffith University, Australia which is currently preparing a website for students and teachers about practice and performance preparation.

Her docARTES doctoral defense took place on June 6, 2019 at Leiden University.


Finding Focus: The Effects of Practicing Musical Gesture on Skill Acquisition and Performance.


In the search for efficient practice and optimal performance, the question musicians often ask is what should I focus on? Research from the fields of psychology and pedagogy on the subjects of motor learning and control and more specifically – attentional focus, has yielded valuable clues that could help…