Susanne Kujala (born 1976 in Berlin) started to play the accordion at the age of seven, the piano at the age of ten and the organ at the age of 13. Her professional studies began at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin in instrumental coaching and concert accordion. She moved to Finland in 1998 and studied accordion and organ performance at the Sibelius Academy Helsinki. She gained her Master of Music -degree in 2006 with highest honors for both accordion organ final recitals. Susanne Kujala gave her debut concert at the Finlandia Hall in 2007. She was the “Young organist of the year 2006” of the Turku Cathedral and the “Young organist of the year 2007” of the Turku Organ Festival.
In Autumn 2013 she gained her artistic Doctor of Music -degree in 2013 at the Sibelius-Academy focusing on the theme “Organ – an Instrument for Contemporary Music”. The collaboration with composers is an essential part of her musical work. Kujala has premiered over 50 works for organ or accordion including two concertos. She has also premiered five works for the microtonal Fokker organ with 31 tone equal temperament at the Muziekgebouw aan t’IJ in Amsterdam.
Her discography includes recordings of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Liszt, Veli Kujala, Juhani Nuorvala and Max Reger. The Debut CD ”Organ Triptychon” recorded on three significant organs of Helsinki was released in 2008. Veli Kujala’s CD Hyperorganism including his organ concerto CybOrgan was released in 2016 and has gotten highly positive reviews. Susanne Kujala’s latest release is “Bach on Porthan Organ”. Coming up is the CD “Finnish Organ Music from the 21st Century”.
For the Finnish Broadcasting Company Kujala has recorded for example the organ sonatas by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. As an improviser and chamber musician she has performed together with her husband Veli Kujala and the English horn player Pip Eastop among others. A three part digital release “Songs of a Lost Land” with music for horn and organ by Pip Eastop and Susanne Kujala will be released soon.
Kujala teaches organ performance at the Sibelius-Academy Helsinki since 2009. She has also developed methods for teaching organ to children and youngsters as organ teacher of the West Helsinki Music Institution. She chaired the Finnish Organum Society from 2014 to 2016. During her term the Organum Society commissioned organ works for young organists by eight Finnish composers. Since 2016 she is the Dean of the Finland Chapter of American Guild of Organists.