He was a piano man in a bar.
Now he's shaping the future as the dean of a conservatory.
Brazilian-born musician Armenio Suzano, Jr. got an unconventional start as the youngest member of the Rio de Janeiro Opera House Symphony Orchestra (Orquestra do Teatro Municipal) at the age of sixteen. Faith and passion moved him from that orchestra pit in Brazil to a small town in Massachusets, serving a Portuguese-speaking community of immigrants. How Suzano came to lead the Greatbatch School of Music in Houghton College is a fascinating story.
His favorite part of being a musician?
All of it.
I love performing the clarinet and the saxophone. I love performing the piano. I love the administrative part of things because you get to create, almost shape up the future with your colleagues. You look at circumstances and possibilities. You look at this donor and you look at that program and you put those two things together, and the next thing you know, magic is happening! So there's a certain beauty in administration as well. But I must say conducting is really where I have found my inner peace. After all of these different facets and roads and travails of life, when I'm on the podium, whether it's with students at Houghton College or with young musicians or seasoned professionals, when you are on the podium creating music, every time is a brand new experience and you get to take your audience on an amazing journey with you.