|Year of Birth:||1954|
Susan Dunn (born July 23, 1954) is a Grammy Award-winning American spinto soprano who has performed in many of the world's finest opera houses, concert halls, and theaters in operas, oratorios, and concert performances. Dunn is particularly admired for her portrayals of Verdi heroines. She currently lives in Durham, North Carolina where she works as a professor of vocal music at Duke University.
Susan Dunn was born in Malvern, Arkansas to A.C. and Cynthia Dunn and grew up in Bauxite, Arkansas. Dunn has a younger sister, Phyllis Dunn Jankowski. Dunn credits her childhood musical experiences at New Hope United Methodist Church as fostering an early love for singing within her. Her first solo was in Bible School at the age of 5. Dunn would remain active in her church's music program throughout her childhood and teenage years. When Dunn was in sixth grade, she convinced her parents to buy her a piano and began taking piano lessons every Saturday for many years in Benton, Ark. Dunn graduated from Bauxite High School in 1972.
Although Dunn's parents were not college educated, they were determined that their two children would attend college and receive the finest education available to them. She entered Hendrix College in 1972 where she studied vocal music with Harold Thompson. After graduating from Hendrix College in 1976, Dunn went on to graduate studies at Indiana University from which she earned a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance in 1980. Dunn continued her studies at the University of Illinois privately with renowned vocal coach and accompanist John Wustman. While studying with Wustman, Dunn won several prestigious vocal competitions and awards including the D'Angelo Young Artist Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Opera Company of Philadelphia's Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition. In 1983, Dunn won three more honors including the coveted Richard Tucker Award, Chicago's WGN-Illinois Opera Competition and the Dallas Morning News' G.B. Dealey Award.