Gussen, the son of Gerhard and Catherine Stockman Gussen, studied in the public schools in Philadelphia and was accepted into the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra at its founding in 1900. He spent three years pursuing his training at the Cologne Conservatory for Music in Germany.
Gussen moved to Birmingham in 1903 and purchased the Birmingham Conservatory from its founder, Benjamin Guckenberger. He was elected the first president of the Alabama Music Teachers Association in 1904 and also directed the Treble Clef Club and Bass Clef Club choirs.
- Musical Alabama (1925) Montgomery: Alabama Federation of Music Clubs/Paragon Press
- Saerchinger, César (1918) International Who's Who in Music and Musical Gazetteer. New York: Current Literature Publishing Company