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Susan Steenkamp-Swanepoel

Current accompanist for the Pretoria Bach Choir


After completing high school, Susan studied for five years at the Conservatoire for Music in Pretoria. She then furthered her studies at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.

She achieved several diplomas in organ and piano as a concert pianist, teacher and accompanist for the above institution as well as UNISA.  On her return to South Africa she worked for 20 years at the Opera School, Technikon Pretoria.  Susan is still the organist for her local church since 1977 and examiner for UNISA music exams since 1986.  In 1990 Susan was appointed as Senior Repetiteur for the Opera Department at the State Theatre Pretoria.

With the closure of the State Theatre in 2000, she joined The Black Tie Ensemble as coach and accompanist and as such, she travels everywhere with The Black Tie Ensemble. She accompanied three of The Black Tie Ensemble members to China, where they performed several concerts in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai at the invitation of the Department of Foreign Affairs. She accompanied ten members of The Black Tie Ensemble during a visit to Austria at the invitation of the Mayor of the city of Graz where they performed at three concerts under the banner of Ten Years of Freedom and Democracy. In 2005 she accompanied eight members of The Black Tie Ensemble to Japan at the invitation of the Department of Arts and Culture to perform at the 2005 Aichi World Expo as well as at the Freedom Day Celebrations in Tokyo and in 2006, join the Ensemble to Nigeria where they performed in Lagos and Abuja, celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Youth Day.   In October 2007 and in January 2008 she accompanied members of The Black Tie Ensemble to Zambia for corporate functions as accompanist.

Susan has worked closely with numerous famous conductors and accompanied well- known classical singers at various prestigious occasions of which the UNISA vocal competitions stays her most enjoyable and challenging. She also accompanied the BTE singers at many prestigious Black Tie Ensemble events, including the 9th and 10th International Investment Council Meetings, both hosted by President T M Mbeki and a special performance at Tuynhuys during the Presidential Banquet in honour of Mr and Mrs Kofi Annan.

When the company was launched as Gauteng Opera in October 2013, Susan was appointed as Head of Music of Gauteng Opera and her duties include Gauteng Opera Academy subjects such as Aural training, Piano, Music Theory and German. She still accompanies singers at various events and is also the Chorus master for Gauteng Opera Chorus. 

During June 2014 Susan started the Susan Swanepoel School of music. She teaches piano and organ and also accompanies and coaches singers.  

Since 1977 Susan plays the organ in her church – almost 40 years. 

She also accompanies the Pretoria Bach Choir since 2015 

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