Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
Violin I
Tannenbaum-Sternberger Distinguished Teaching Artist
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
Photo credit: Kristin Hoebermann

“One of the few classical artists who must be experienced in person” -The Washington Post

Passion, excitement, and innovation are the hallmarks of internationally acclaimed soloist and chamber musician Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s artistry. Praised for her compelling performances, daring interpretations, and electric stage presence, she is one of today’s leading violinists, renowned for her work on the concert stage, in the recording studio, and highly respected for her vision and guidance as music director of the San Francisco-based New Century Chamber Orchestra, which she has led since January 2008. With successful careers in both the solo and chamber music worlds, Nadja continues to enthrall audiences of all ages.

Dedicated to her craft,Nadja is committed to sharing her experience and knowledge. This season, in addition to performances with orchestras and recital concerts, Nadja will begin a multiyear engagement as "Resident Artist" with Loyola University New Orleans. She will also be working with string orchestras in specially designed "Guest Residencies" at several Universities throughout the country.

A powerful and creative presence on the recording scene, Nadja continues to add to the offerings of her own record label, NSS Music, which she started in 2005. The label’s roster of artists includes Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, horn player John Cerminaro, pianist/composer Clarice Assad, conductor Marin Alsop, the American String Quartet, the Colorado Symphony, Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, and the New Century Chamber Orchestra. In addition to her over twenty releases on the EMI and Nonesuch labels, Nadja has also made several recordings for NSS MUSIC (www.nssmusic.com), featuring both concerto and chamber pieces. The latest release,From A To Z(May 2014), is an all-commissions CD featuring violin concertos by Clarice Assad, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, all commissioned by New Century since Nadja joined the ensemble.

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s exceptional artistry is paired with great musical intelligence which, along with her unique personality, have served her well in numerous environments – she has hosted theBackstage/Live from Lincoln Centerprogram for PBS, appeared in the PBS/BBC seriesThe Mind, and with Big Bird onSesame Street. She was the subject of the 2000 Academy Award-nominated film,Speaking in Strings, an intensely personal documentary on her life, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was released in theaters nationwide, and subsequently premiered on HBO’s Signatures channel in 1999. Included among her numerous television interviews and profiles are CBS’60 Minutes,60 Minutes II, andSunday Morning; CNN’sNewsstand; NBC’sNational NewsandNewsstand; NBC’sNational NewsandThe Tonight Showwith Johnny Carson; Bravo’sArts & Minds; PBS’Live from Lincoln Center, andThe Charlie Rose Show. On the publishing front,Nadja: On My Way, her autobiography written for children discussing her experiences as a young musician building a career, was published by Crown Books in 1989. Nadja has appeared in numerous publications ranging fromThe Strad,GramophoneandStringstoThe New York Times,The Washington Post, andThe Huffington Post, among many.

Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s professional career began in 1981 when she won the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. In 1983 she was recognized with an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 1988 was Ovations Debut Recording Artist of the Year. In 1999, Nadja was honored with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, awarded to instrumentalists who have demonstrated “outstanding achievement and excellence in music.” In May of that same year, she was awarded an honorary Master of Musical Arts from the New Mexico State University, the first honorary degree the University has ever awarded. An American citizen, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg was born in Rome and emigrated to the United States at the age of eight to study at The Curtis Institute of Music. She later studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School.

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