Sonja maintains a diverse portfolio of projects with a focus on fusing classical music with elements of modern circus, fire performance and physical theatre and exploring new avenues in presentation. She has toured extensively across Europe, the UK and Australia with duo partner Nigel Kennedy, as a member his Orchestra of Life and guest musician with the Nigel Kennedy Jazz Quintet. Sonja leads the Extra Sounds Ensemble (Krakow), whose debut CD, Metamorphoses, featuring Alicja Smietana and Pekka Kuusisto, was released in 2015. Sonja also guests regularly with groups such as the Wiener Symphoniker, English Session Orchestra and Concertino Wien.
“My time at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2004–09) was a period of many changes, but the staff and the subjects on offer when I began were fantastic. I studied sound recording and music technology, which have become very handy, as well as specialist , courses, such as Russian music history, which was amazing. My orchestral training was comprehensive.
“I was drawn to the Conservatorium by the great string, accompaniment and ensemble offerings and in particular my wonderful violin teacher Christopher Kimber. Christopher passed on his wisdom and experience as an international performer, and he helped me to think not only as a violinist but as an artist. He always encouraged my creativity, taught me to follow my instincts and to develop my own voice, giving me the confidence to pursue my own path in music.
“The biggest lesson I took away is that you need to stand up for what you believe in and create your own opportunities. Students were given the confidence to try and, when faced with challenges, to create change for the better – and enjoy ourselves at the same time.
“During my studies at the Conservatorium I met some amazing like-minded peers including my creative partner, composer Chloé Charody, through our mutual desire to explore different ways of presenting classical music. Our collaboration continues to this day and has yielded some great projects and successes, in Australia, Europe and the UK.”