Susan Taylor Dapkunas


What city are you living in now? Annapolis, MD

Where did you study? Peabody Conservatory

What is your favorite piece of music? This month, my favorite piece of music is Rebecca Clarke’s Sonata for Viola.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? When not playing music or spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, writing and being in nature (especially birdwatching and sailing).

What is your fondest Annapolis Symphony memory? I have many profound memories of making music with my Annapolis Symphony colleagues over the years. My fondest, though, is probably playing with Hilary Hahn in August of 2002. Our older daughter was in labor at AAMC. I knew I would be rushing out after the concert and I asked Marshall if he could get Ms. Hahn to sign my CD. Her father overheard us and took me down to her dressing room. When I explained the situation, she thought it would be more fun to sign the CD to my soon to be born grandson. I wholeheartedly agreed!


A native Annapolitan, Susan Taylor Dapkunas began viola lessons in the public schools and private studios of Anne Arundel County. In high school, she attended the Peabody Preparatory and played her first concerts with the young Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. She continued as a member while studying with Karen Tuttle at the Peabody Conservatory.

After graduation, Susan spent four years with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and the San José Soloists (a chamber ensemble). She helped start a music school in San José and, later, played in La Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería (a summer orchestra of the University of Mexico).

Upon returning to Annapolis, Susan rejoined the ASO, was a founding member of the Bay Strings, and an early member of the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra; groups that she still plays with today. She obtained her Masters from Peabody and has since enjoyed freelancing in the Baltimore-Annapolis-Washington area. She has her own private teaching studio and taught Orff-Schulwerk for 21 years at the Key School. Coaching the Lyra Ensembles with the Annapolis Symphony Academy brings her newfound joy.

Susan treasures the warmth of a large extended family. She loves the written word and, over the years, has also found fulfillment through work with environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Friends of Quiet Waters Park. Susan’s spiritual home is with the Annapolis Friends Meeting (Quakers).