Guest Composer Dawn Sonntag to Appear at Youngstown State University
Composer Dawn Lenore Sonntag, Assistant Professor of Music at Hiram College and a member of the Cleveland Composers Guild, will be guest composer at the New Music Society’s Annual Spring Concerts, March 26-28. She is a composer, singer, pianist, and conductor and holds degrees from the University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, Hochschule für Kirchenmusik, Heidelberg, and University of Texas, El Paso. Her works will be performed at the Butler Institute of American Art Noon Hour Concert, on Wednesday, March 26, at the 8:00 p.m. Bliss Recital Hall program the same day, and at 11:00 a.m. on Friday March 28 at the Dana School of Music Bliss Recital Hall Convocation.
Composer’s Website: www.dawnsonntag.com
She will be accompanied by pianist Karen Murphy, who has extensive experience performing in Minnesota, Arizona, on commercial recordings, and in premiering new works. Also performing will be flutist/oboist Paul Dreisbach, who teaches woodwinds at Hiram, and cellist Stephen Wagner, who is also a Kodàly pedagogical technique specialist.
Sonntag’s works encompass vocal, choral, orchestral, dance, and film music and have been performed across the U.S. and Europe. Her choral music has been performed by university, community and church choirs in the U.S. and Germany. Her first opera, Verlorene Heimat, will be premiered at Hiram College this April. Upcoming commissions include a work for Chinese instruments and chorus for the Orchid Ensemble, a Vancouver-based Chinese music trio, and an opera in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Augsburg College.
In 2010 Sonntag was selected as MTNA Ohio’s Distinguished Composer of the Year. Sonntag’s interest in Norwegian Art Song led to a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship to study advanced Norwegian in Oslo, Norway, and she was a composer in residence at the Visby International Center for Composers in 2013, and has been invited to return in 2015. An avid alpine hiker, Sonntag will premiere a new chamber work a new chamber work this summer at the Fairbanks Arts Festival as a participant of Composers in the Wilderness program.
The Youngstown State University events will focus on Sonntag’s chamber music for voice and instruments and will demonstrate her extensive experience in setting English texts and those translated from Swedish. She will also perform a collection of her settings of the Romantic poet Christina Rossetti, as will be settings of Twentieth Century poets Sarah Teasdale, Karin Boye, and Marvin Bell. A version of 19th Century American poet Walt Whitman’s Come Up from the Fields, Father will also appear.
New Music Society
Violinists Brendan and Karen Considine will perform Youngstown composer Richard Zacharias’ It’s My Turn to Have the Evening Off. The title refers to the couple’s busy musical life, which vies for attention with their active upbringing of three lovely children. Zacharias, an avid concertgoer and member of the New Music Guild, Inc., has generously supported New Music and other Dana events for years.