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Internationally Acclaimed Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Performs Vivaldiĺs Four Seasons with Loyola Orchestra November 5

Loyola press release - October 20, 2016

Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the Loyola Chamber Orchestra will perform an audience favorite, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, when they take the stage at 7:30 on November 5 at the Roussel Performance Hall on Loyola University’s campus.

Saturday, November 5, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with the Loyola Chamber Orchestra
Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, 3rd Floor, Communications/Music Complex


Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin

The Four Seasons is a group of four violin concerti, written in 1723 by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives a musical expression to a season of the year. The Four Seasons is the best known of Vivaldi's works. Unusually for the time, Vivaldi published the concerti with accompanying poems (possibly written by Vivaldi himself) that elucidated what it was about those seasons that his music was intended to evoke. It provides one of the earliest and most-detailed examples of what was later called program music—music with a narrative element.

“Vivaldi's Four Seasons is arguably the most visual work in the classical repertory,” says Salerno-Sonnenberg. “The descriptions of nature and events are so vivid. I adore this piece for that very reason...bringing those descriptions to life.”

A spirit of innovation pervades Loyola University New Orleans School of Music, where internationally acclaimed violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg has introduced a new approach of teaching chamber music. The renowned virtuoso, who became the university’s first Resident Artist in Music in September 2015, now returns for the 2016-2017 academic year with exciting concert programs and a plan to expand her presence on campus and in the greater New Orleans community.

“Returning for my second year with the LCO is truly like coming home,” observes Salerno-Sonnenberg. “The students are so well trained already...we know each other...and we inspire each other. Everyone is on fire for this season.”

In a situation unique to university settings, Salerno-Sonnenberg has taught students in the Loyola Chamber Orchestra to perform as a conductor-less ensemble, a technique Salerno-Sonnenberg refined over the last eight years as music director of San Francisco’s acclaimed New Century Chamber Orchestra, one of a handful of conductor-less ensembles in the world.

“At Loyola University New Orleans, we are both training musicians of the future and educating music audiences of the future,” said Anthony Decuir, interim dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts. “Through the Resident Artist program and Nadja’s residency, we are able to achieve both those goals. In just one year, Nadja has helped to elevate the quality of our string program, working closely with our students and faculty and playing alongside them. She has also tapped an important audience hungry to learn more about classical music.”

Working together with Loyola music professors Jean Montes and Amy Thiaville, Salerno-Sonnenberg has effectively introduced the technique to the School of Music, ensuring that orchestra players are as comfortable working with and without a conductor.

As resident artist, Salerno-Sonnenberg works closely with string students and faculty. She has taught master classes, spoken at student forums in Loyola’s Music Industry Studies program, participated in recital hours, and performed with the Loyola Chamber Orchestra, leading from the concert master’s seat as well as with the faculty. She has also maintained Loyola’s long tradition of community involvement.

In partnership with the New Orleans-based not-for-profit Artists Corps, Salerno-Sonnenberg worked closely during the 2015-16 academic year with young students in Louisiana charter, public and private schools. She has shared her extraordinary musical expertise and technique with students and teachers, building interest in playing music and demonstrating how playing with a musical ensemble can be as fun as playing a team sport.

“Louisiana’s long and strong musical history dates more than 300 years, and New Orleans is the perfect training ground for musicians,” said Meg Frazier, Rita O. Huntsinger Distinguished Professor of Music and Director of the School of Music. “Having a world-renowned talent like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg serving as Loyola’s Resident Artist in Music sends a powerful message about the special place that artists—particularly musicians—occupy at Loyola and in the greater New Orleans and Louisiana communities.”

For more details on Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s work as resident artist, please visit http://cmfa.loyno.edu/nadja-salerno-sonnenberg-resident-artist-2015-2016.

Her performances are a highlight of Loyola’s acclaimed Montage Fine and Performing Arts series, this season celebrating “The Creative American Spirit,” and showcasing some of the top arts events in the region, from concerts to theatre and ballet performances.

Tickets are available for purchase online, through the Loyola College of Music and Fine Arts at 504-865-2074 or via email at tickets@loyno.edu.

Highly regarded for her compelling and passionate performances, daring interpretations, and dedication to her craft, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s artistry is coupled with great musical intelligence, which along with her unique personality, has allowed her to succeed in a variety of environments throughout her career. In 2008, she became the music director of the San Francisco-based New Century Chamber Orchestra, one of just a handful of conductor-less ensembles in the world, earning praise for her vision and innovative guidance. One of today’s leading violinists and an internationally acclaimed soloist and chamber musician, her 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, Salerno-Sonnenberg 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, Salerno-Sonnenberg was born in Rome and immigrated 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.

Loyola University New Orleans is a Catholic, Jesuit university located in the heart of the picturesque Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans. For more than 100 years, Loyola has helped shape the lives of its students, as well as the history of the city and the world, through educating men and women in the Jesuit traditions of academic excellence and service to others. Loyola’s more than 40,000 graduates serve as catalysts for change in their communities as they exemplify the comprehensive, values-laden education received at Loyola.

Located within Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts, Loyola’s School of Music is a conservatory in which professional musicians are trained in a rich academic environment, and where students can roam the halls and converse with Grammy Award winners and internationally renowned musicians. CMFA also includes Loyola’s acclaimed Film and Music Industry Studies Department, which prepares aspiring musicians, singers, performers, directors, producers, crafts, and industry executives for entrepreneurial success in the creative professions.

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