Richard Sussman


Richard Sussman is a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, educator, and author.  Passionate about sharing his knowledge with young people, Richard has been an integral member of the Jazz Composition Faculty at the highly esteemed Manhattan School of Music in New York City since 1986.  Equally skilled in the areas of jazz and classical theory, composition, jazz improvisation, and many aspects of music technology including film scoring and contemporary media production, Richard can offer a wide array of lessons to the aspiring student. He has worked with many legendary jazz, pop, and classical artists including Lionel Hampton, Hank Jones, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Carly Simon, Donna Summer, Blood Sweat & Tears, The Metropole Orchestra, and The American Composers Orchestra. His extensive work in the field of film and TV has included projects for ABC, NBC, CBS, Disney, and Nickelodeon.

Richard Sussman Course Offerings:


  1. Jazz Theory and Improvisation 1
  • A study of the basic harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic theory of modern jazz.
  • An introduction to the concept of jazz improvisation as a universal language for telling a story and expressing human emotions.
  • Basic improvising performance skills necessary for playing in small jazz ensembles will be covered. Students will get to apply their knowledge in frequent jazz jam sessions with other students.


  1. Jazz Theory and Improvisation 2
  • A study of more advanced harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic applications in contemporary jazz.
  • Examination of more advanced chord progressions and contemporary approaches to rhythm and melody in group imnprovisation.
  • This course will be available to those students who have demonstrated proficiency in jazz basics. Students will get to perform frequently and apply their skills with other students at an advanced level.


  1. Introduction to Music Technolgy and Film Scoring
  • A study of how to create music using popular music software programs.
  • An examination of basic concepts of scoring to picture with on the spot demonstrations of how to produce an effective score.
  • To get the maximum benefit from this course students should bring laptop computers running commonly used music programs such as Logic, Digital Performer, or Cubase.



Jazz Program

Jazz Program Music in The Alps

The program will help students develop their improvising skills through individual and group sessions using standard jazz repertoire. Open to all instruments and voice.

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