B i o g r a p h y
In the Fall of 2016, Sonja joined the faculty at George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Sonja comes to Portland from Seattle, having taught at Edmonds Community College and Seattle Music Partners as well as being a Teaching Artist with and founder of the Meany Center's Music Link program.
As a chamber musician, Sonja performs with Rockstop Cello Quartet, Zig Zag String Quartet, and the Lowdown Duo. She also holds positions with the Portland Columbia Symphony and the Portland Choir and Orchestra. While in graduate school at the University of Washington, Sonja won the 2015 concerto competition and participated in two scholarship chamber ensembles, Oceana String Quartet and Daana Quartet. Daana performed in Seattle schools and community centers through a program called Music Link, which Sonja created in collaboration with the UW School of Music and the UW World Series. Passionate about community engagement and access, Daana performed free outdoor concerts throughout Seattle as part of Seattle Chamber Music Society's Music Under the Stars concerts. As fellows at the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, Daana taught and performed throughout eastern WA. Daana Quartet won the University of Washington Chamber Music Competition and the silver medal at the MTNA NW Regional Chamber Music Competition.
A founding member of the Portland Cello Project, Sonja has performed with such artists as Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, the Dandy Warhols, Laura Gibson, Horse Feathers, and being presented at the Doe Bay Festival, Ashland Shakespear Festival, and performing arts centers across the US. Sonja has been a member of the Vancouver Symphony, as well as principal cellist with Seattle Collaborative Orchestra and Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. A founding member of Inverted Space – an ensemble focused on performing modern and contemporary classical music - Sonja has performed in the West Coast premiere of Bruno Maderna's Don Perlimplin as well as standards of the contemporary music canon. She has premiered pieces by composers Greg Sinibaldi, Tom Baker, and Francis White and her recordings appear on the Kill Rock Stars label and Albany Records.
Sonja has studied with members of The Juilliard, Corigliano, St. Lawrence, Emerson, and Casals string quartets. As a participant in the Stanford Chamber Music Seminar for 3 years in a row, she studied intensively with the St. Lawrence String Quartet and performed for the Azure Family Concert (for families with children on the autism spectrum) and Bing Concert Hall.
In June 2017 Sonja completed her doctorate at the University of Washington, where she was the Teaching Assistant for professor Toby Saks and visiting artist Eric Gaenslen. Her dissertation is titled: BEYOND THE CONCERT HALL: THE CREATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A TEACHING ARTIST TRAINING PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL. Sonja holds a Master's degree from the UW and a Bachelor's degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR.
Photo by Milana Gilligan