Femke Sonnen

Music All The Way

I'm a

About

Femke Sonnen (Nijmegen, NL) is a composer, violinist, writer and concert organiser, currently living and working in Ghent (Belgium).
She is currently writing and composing a new music theatre production.

 

From 1990 to 1995 she worked as leader of the second violins in the Orchestra of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.
She became leader of the second violins in the orchestra of La Monnaie/De Munt (Brussels) in september 1996.

 

She began to play the violin at the age of five. At age 18 she entered the conservatory
of Amsterdam where she studied with Herman Krebbers and Leo Boelens.
She continued her studies in Utrecht with Charles-André Linale and Keiko Wataya.

During her violin studies, she was also taught by Jaap Schröder (NL), the Orlando and Alberny Quartets (NL and UK),
Sandor Vègh (CH), Ida Haendel (IT) and Mikhail Bezverkhny (BE).

 

Composer Femke Sonnen

In addition to her career as a violinist, Femke is also active as a composer. In 2019 she obtained
her Master's degree in composition magna cum laude with Luc Van Hove and Wim Henderickx at the AP Hogeschool in Antwerp.

Chamber music works include 'Fantasy for violin solo', 'Moju' for bassoon, 2 violins and viola/percussion and two dancers,
'Juliet & Romeo' for string quartet and tenor, 'The Broken Mirror', (Theme and variations for oboe and piano),
String Quartet nr.1 (*2019) and 'Passing Clouds' for violin and piano (*2021).

 

(+) CV NL + ENG

Composer

Performing music and composing music are inextricably linked.
Femke decided to study composition and graduated
magna cum laude in 2019 becoming 'A Composer ' !

Performer

Both as a composer and a performer Femke has a great affinity with
theater and dance and has collaborated in various productions both on and off the stage.

Writer

Theater and song texts such as 'Mens', 'Deirdre's Song', 'Rattekatte' and 'The Living Chair'.

Resumé

Education

Live Electronics

2021-2022

KASK & Conservatorium Ghent, BE

Studies with Jesse Broekman.

Master of Arts in Composition

2016-2019

AP Hogeschool Antwerpen SCHOOL OF ARTS/KC Antwerpen, BE

Studies with Luc Van Hove and Wim Hendrickx.
Thesis: Strijkkwartet nr.1 (2019) The process of creating and composing
a string quartett.

Magna cum laude

Master of Arts in Music

2015 - 2016

LUCA School of Arts/KU Leuven, BE

César Franck : Sonata in A for violin and piano.
Ludwig Van Beethoven : Sonata No. 5 opus 24 for violin and piano.
Thesis: Spring Sonata, searching for the right interpretation. Backgrounds, Performance Practice, Analyses.
Magna cum laude

Diploma Uitvoerend Musicus

1989

HKU Utrechts Conservatorium

Studies with Charles-André Linale and Keiko Wataya.
Magna cum laude

Diploma Docerend Musicus

1988

HKU Utrechts Conservatorium

Studies with Charles-André Linale and Keiko Wataya.
Magna cum laude

Violin (major) Studies

1980-1986

Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam

Studies with Leo Boelens and Herman Krebbers

Professional Experience

Leader of the second violins

1995 - Present

LA MONNAIE/DE MUNT Brussels, BE

Leader of the Second Violins with chamber music contract for the Concertini chamber music series

Leader of the second violins

1990 - 1995

OPERA BALLET VLAANDEREN, Antwerpen - Gent, BE

Leader of the Second Violins

String Quartet

2006 - 2011

Second violin of the ENSOR STRIJKKWARTET, BE

100+ concerts and performances

Concert organisation OP STAPEL vzw (NN 0450693969)

1993 - Present

Opstapel Website

150 + concerts with programmation ranging from pre-baroque to the new modernists
Music theatre productions in Ghent, BE

Concertmaster String orchestra 'LA PRIMAVERA ' Amsterdam

1985 - 1989

Various solo performances in concerti and solo pieces

Portfolio of Compositions | Soundcloud

2022

Habanera : For A Pocket Orchestra and Ô-CELLI 8 Celli (3')

2021

Passing Clouds : Violin and Piano (9')

2020

Le Tombeau (for Corine) : Hornquartet (4')

Trennung : Largo & Allegro for 15 strings (9')

Numbers : A composition in eight parts for string orchestra (15')

The Broken Mirror : Oboe and piano (5')

2019

String Quartet No. 1 (20')

Verzonken Stad : Orchestral (6') piece for variable instrumentation

Mens : A theater piece for soprano, trumpet, clarinet, bassoon and violin (15 ')

Dream from the Past : A short piece for four violins (3'30")

2018

Tres Canciones : Three songs (12') for mezzo in variable settings

Nati I Nichta : A song (4') for soprano and piano (also for soprano and string sextet)

2017

Inside (out) : Dance and violin solo (9')

Trois Pieces Nostalgiques : Three pieces for piano solo (4'30)

Rattekatte : A theatrical fairy tale (40 ') for actress and 6 instruments

Deirdres Song : A song (4') for 2 Sopranos, 1 alto, cello and piano

2016

Juliet & Romeo : A miniature ( 4' ready to be inserted) for tenor and string quartet

2015

Moju : 2 Violins, 1 alto + percussion, bassoon, two dancers - a man and a woman (15')

2013

De Levende Stoel : Mélodrame (65') for string quintett, idiophones and two narrators

2011

Fantasie : Solo Violin (15')

Portfolio of Arrangements

These arrangements are for sale. Use the secure contact form on this site

4 Violins and Double Bass

Thadeus Geisler-Wyganowski : Hommage à la Madone (10 €)

Bela Béla Bartók : 6 Rumanian Folkdances (20€)

Astor Piazzolla : Fuga y Misterio (15€)

VIVA OPERA (Album) (20 €)

  • Gaetano Donizetti : “Una Fortiva Lagrima“ from “Elisir d'Amore“
  • Gioachino Rossini “La Danza” (Tarantella Napoletana)
  • Vincenzo Bellini : “Casta Diva” from “Norma”
  • Gioachino Rossini : “Non più mesta” from “Cenerentola”

Kurt Weill : Youkali (10 €)

4 Violins

Bela Béla Bartók : Fuga from the Sonata for solo violin (15 €)

Dmitri Sjostakovitsj : Canon from "Ten Aphorismen” for piano opus 13 (10 €)

Dmitri Sjostakovitsj : Prelude nr.4 from "24 Préludes and Fugues" for piano opus 87 (10 €)

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Buy the CD with the recording of these arrangements played by VIVIO

Projects

Both as a composer and a performer Femke has a great affinity with theater and dance and has collaborated in various configurations with actors/performers such as Alexandra Franck, Lucas Van den Eynde, Josse de Pauw, Hubert Damen, Karel Vingerhoets, Gene Bervoets and Jo Decaluwé.

On stage in “Jagden und Formen”, a music-choreographic project
by Sasha Waltz & Guests. Music by Wolfgang Rihm (DVD recording).
De Munt/La Monnaie 2013.

 

Chansons Qui Résistent: a project (2021) in Besançon (FR) about music written in Theresienstsadt.

2021 The Turn of the Screw

De Munt/La Monnaie streaming and CD-recording of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw: a psychological thriller in chamber opera format.

2021 Chansons qui Résistent

10 Concerts in Besançon (FR) with Ensemble Christofori wich DVD-recording and extensive media coverage.
Music composed in Theresienstad Concentration Camp.

2019 Tutti Fratelli

Bloemen van een autist. A story of the impossibility of two lovers to come together. Trailer

2020 VIVIO4 CD Release

Femke Sonnen, Yuri Higashida, Robert Yeo and Stephen Meyer joined by double bass Shagan Grolier in an outstanding CD recording released september 2020.

2016-'17 Juliet Letters

Elvis Costello with the Rosamunde quartett.

2017 Inside Out

Contemporary dance composition with Roman Van Houtven. De Singel, Antwerp (BE).

2012 P.A.R.T.S.

Six performances of Eugène Isaye: "Ballade" for solo violin and dance. De Munt/La Monnaie and De Singel.

2011-2013 Histoire du Soldat

Staged production with Lucas Van den Eynde
(CC Lier, Roma and De Munt/La Monnaie)
and during the Festival of the Egean, Syros (GR)

2003 Dublin

On tour with the Prometheus Ensemble “The Woman who Walked into Doors” by Kris Defoort

2010 De Zeven Laatste Zinnen

Dimitri Verhulst and the ENSOR STRIJKKWARTET
CD recording of the music by Joseph Haydn with texts by Dimitri Verhulst

2009 Antonio Montanile

Contemporary dance. Performances in Roubaix (FR) and Santarcangelo (IT). String quartett of period instruments.

Photos