The Shoso Duo and Susanna Campbell
Harpist, Susanna Campbell and Shakuhachi Player, Shawn Renzoh Head
A few years back I had the fantastic opportunity of meeting the wonderful and talented Harpist, Susanna Campbell. Together we are the Shoso duo but when we started just over two years ago, we actually did not have a name. We were just a duo. After six concerts we finally decided that we need to sit down and figure out our name. It was not easy. However, we came to a decision, The Shoso Duo. We are named after one of the oldest storage houses in Japan which holds some of the oldest shakuhachi known to exist today, as well as other instruments and manuscripts.
The Shoso Duo formed in September 2017 when shakuhachi master Shawn Renzoh Head and harpist Susanna Campbell met at Retrospect Coffee Bar to discuss a concert collaboration. Fusing the eastern music and culture of the Japanese flute with the western aesthetic of the modern pedal harp appealed to both artists and a new musical initiative was born. Shoso Duo gave their debut performance on February 24, 2018 at Campbell Learning Center in Houston, TX. This concert was followed up with a repeat performance at the International Christian Church of Houston on May 21, 2018, and two additional concerts are scheduled for summer 2018. Shoso Duo hopes to promote the harp and shakuhachi at home and abroad as viable instruments for all to enjoy and for anyone with a passion for music to learn how to play.
Listen here to hear the Shoso Duo perform “Mayudama no Uta,” Song of the Silken Cocoon by Katsutoshi Nagasawa.
Susanna Campbell is a passionate and experienced music educator and performer based in Houston, Texas. Recent concert highlights include a solo recital of French music at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the debut season of Shoso Duo – a shakuhachi and harp ensemble merging western and eastern cultures and music. Susanna is also a founding member of AURORA – a harp, flute, and cello ensemble embracing classical repertoire while championing contemporary music by emerging composers.
Susanna is principal harpist with the Round Rock Symphony and substitute harpist with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and Symphony of Southeast Texas. In addition to performing, she maintains a private harp and piano studio and takes great delight in training and mentoring young musicians. Susanna also teaches music classes at Lone Star College, is on faculty at the Houston Summer Harp Festival, music directs at King's Cross in Cypress, TX and was recently appointed harp faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Her work as a freelance musician takes her to stylish venues such as the St. Regis Hotel, the Petroleum Club, and Briscoe Manor, a beautiful event facility in Richmond. Susanna is available to play for church services, weddings, receptions, corporate parties, graduations, funerals, or musical productions. It is her delight to perfectly complement the atmosphere of your event and to meet your personal tastes with a specially tailored assortment of music.
Susanna was a winner of the Concerto/Aria Competition at Stephen F. Austin State University in 2013, a 1st place winner of the Mildred Milligan Harp Competition in 2010, winner of the Jan Pennington Gray Harp Scholarship in 2008, first chair harpist for the All-State Symphony Orchestra in 2007, and winner of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Concerto Competition in 2005. She received a Master's in Harp Performance from Stephen F. Austin State University where she studied with Ms. Emily Mitchell.
What’s next for Shoso?
The Shoso duo has officially started their third season. This year and next, Susanna and Shawn will be playing music from Anime, a highly requested season. Stay tuned for upcoming performance dates.