A classically trained musician, Susan Hammond is noted for her ability to translate the sometimes arcane world of classical music into powerful human drama that grabs a young audience. Her multiple Gold Records prove that Hammond can relate to both worlds.
Born and raised in Toronto, Hammond performed as a young pianist in the Toronto area, and was a student of Karl Ulrich Schnabel. Hammond graduated from the University of Toronto and worked to bring classical music into the integrated elementary school curriculum. She created her first record, Mr. Bach Comes to Call, in an effort to bring the story of Bach to a younger audience. Mixing biographical audio drama seamlessly with classical piano excerpts, the album was both informational and entertaining. Besides being the producer and creator, Hammond was a featured performer on the album. Hammond received numerous awards for this album, including the Juno Award for Best Children's Recording in Canada. The album was certified platinum in Canada as well.
The following year, Hammond released her best-known recording, Beethoven Lives Upstairs. Also certified platinum, the album was turned into a book, a video, and eventually, a CD-ROM. It featured a fanciful story of a young boy's inspiration as a neighbor of Beethoven.
In 1990, Hammond released Mozart's Magic Fantasy, which won the Juno Award for Best Canadian Children's Recording. One year later, Hammond grabbed a Juno again with Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery. Hammond then switched gears a bit with Daydreams and Lullabies, a release which was less oriented toward the stories of composers than her other releases. Hammond returned to her proven formula with Tchaikovsky Discovers America in 1993. The story-oriented album was also made into an award-winning book.
Hammond then put together a collection of her story-oriented albums, along with a teachers' guide, in The Classroom Collection. She released her sixth biographical album, Hallelujah Handel, in 1995.