Organist & Harpsichordist
The Swiss-born organist, harpsichordist and organ builder Lea Suter discovered her passion for the music of J.S. Bach – particularly his keyboard music – at a young age. After building her first clavichord at the age of sixteen, she trained as a professional organ builder. As part of her training, she helped restore 17th- and 18th-century church organs in Transylvania (Romania), which inspired her to complete an undergraduate degree in church music and a master’s degree in organ, harpsichord and clavichord. Her teachers include Margareta Hürholz, Roland Dopfer, Pieter van Dijk and Menno van Delft.
Performing and Teaching
Since completing her studies, she has performed internationally as a soloist, regularly as a church organist on the meantone Van der Putten organ in Bremen, and as the artistic director of the weekly “Worpsweder Orgelmusiken” in the artists’ village of Worpswede. In addition, she has been a tutor at the Smarano International Academy for organ and clavichord (Italy) for many years since 2017 and shared her enthusiasm for historical keyboard instruments as a lecturer at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague as well as on “sounding tours” of the instrument collection at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg.
She is also internationally recognised as an academic specialist in the practical application of historical temperaments, a subject which she first addressed in her bachelor’s thesis.
Lea‘s playing is not only influenced by her comprehensive examination of historical sources and her practical knowledge of instruments as a performer, but also unquestionably by her knowledge of instrument making. Accordingly, her work alternates between making music and conducting research on and with historical instruments, sources and traditions.
Continuo and Ensemble Harpsichordist
In addition to performing as a soloist, Lea Suter plays harpsichord with Ensemble Concierto Ibérico and the Weckman Consort, an ensemble which she founded in 2019 to perform works by 17th- and 18th-century Northern and Central German composers on historical organs. She views the historical instruments in this context as reference points for recreating, as closely as possible, the sounds that a composer of an earlier epoch may have heard in his imagination. A recent example of this approach was her months-long exploration with the GlossArte duo, consisting of a historical trombone (ca. 1920) and the historical Sauer organ (ca. 1928) in the “Glocke” in Bremen, a renowned concert hall from the same era. The resulting recording was released in January 2022 on the Dabringhaus und Grimm label. In 2021, the first CD recording of the same Sauer organ, played by various organists, was published by the same label on Lea‘s initiative.