Susan Babini was appointed Principal Cello of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2012 by Edo de Waart. She has been recognized for her "gorgeous sound and liquid sense of phrasing” (Philadelphia Enquirer), her “achingly beautiful” playing (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and “gorgeous, dark sound” (Milwaukee Shepherd Express).
Since joining the MSO she has been a regularly featured soloist. She has also performed as soloist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C, as well as the New Century Chamber Orchestra where she held the position of Principal Cello. In addition she has appeared as Guest Principal Cello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
An Astral Artist alumnus, Susan performed the East Coast premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis's Colored Field for Cello and Orchestra with Symphony in C, and is also featured on Kernis' album On Distant Shores. She has also been presented in solo recital by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
A dedicated educator, Susan loves working with students of all ages and and frequently leads masterclasses at home and abroad. For several years she taught cello orchestral repertoire at Northwestern University, as well as teaching and coaching for the National Youth Orchestra, Luzerne Music Center, and the Brevard Music Festival. Currently she is a faculty member for the Advanced Chamber Music Institute at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
A passionate chamber musician, Susan has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and subsequently toured with "Musicians from Marlboro”. She has also performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, and Tanglewood and Yellow Barn Music Festivals. Additionally, she has performed as guest cellist with the Cavani String Quartet on the Detroit Chamber Music Society series and at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In Milwaukee, she has performed with the Philomusica String Quartet, Milwaukee Musaik and Frankly Music chamber music series.
A native of Detroit, Susan Babini is the daughter of two former Detroit Symphony cellists and began her musical studies at the young age of three. She holds a Graduate Diploma from The Juilliard School, where she was teaching assistant to Bonnie Hampton, as well as Bachelor and Master of Chamber Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.