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Encore! Internationally Acclaimed Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Returns to Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola press release - August 23, 2016

Renowned virtuoso trains musicians of the future, while expanding New Orleans’ classical music audience

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.

“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.”

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.

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.

What began as the exploration of a teaching technique showed exceptional results in one academic year, Decuir said. At the university level, being able to perform in both a traditional and conductor-less orchestra demands of students a higher level of preparedness and provides them an increased degree of authority in their ensemble playing. Such versatility demands both strength of performance and professionalism.

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. 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.”

As part of her residency, Salerno-Sonnenberg performs publicly side-by-side with students in the Loyola Chamber Orchestra, once in the fall and once in the spring. She also performs with the faculty and with the Loyola Symphony Orchestra.

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

During the 2016-2017 season, Salerno-Sonnenberg will perform in four concerts at Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, La., 70118. 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.

Sunday, October 2, 2016, 3 p.m.
Loyola Faculty concert with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
Loyola University New Orleans
Nunemaker Auditorium, 3rd Floor, Monroe Hall


VAUGHAN WILLIAMS How Cold the Wind Doth Blow
RICHARD STRAUSS Morgen
with Tyler Smith, tenor
VILLA LOBOS Bachianas Brasileira No. 5
DJANGO REINHARDT Nuages
BRAZILIAN CHORO Apanhei-te
with John Rankin, guitar
FELIX MENDELSSOHN Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20
with violinists Amy Thiaville, Daniel Juan Gonzalez, and special guest violinist Rachel Jordan;
violists Bruce Owen and Emily Townsend; cellist Emily Alves; special guest cellist Phillip Von Maltzan

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


ANTONIO VIVALDI The Four Seasons
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with the Loyola Chamber Orchestra
Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, 3rd Floor, Communications/Music Complex


The program will include music by:
BERNARD HERRMANN Psycho Suite (from the film “Psycho”)
WILLIAM BOLCOM 2 Rags....Poltergeist and Incineratorag
PHILIP GLASS 3rd movement, Symphony No. 3 (from the film "The Hours")
MARK O’CONNOR Song of the Liberty Bell
AARON COPLAND Hoe Down
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin

Sunday, April 30, 2017, 3 p.m.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with the Loyola Symphony Orchestra
Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, 3rd Floor, Communications/Music Complex


FELIX MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin