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Sonia Jacobsen : Represented Artist

Jacobsen attempts a synthesis of jazz and classical influences by combining them with her experience in diverse world music genres and contemporary rhythms.

Random Audio Sample: In Anticipation (solo piano) by Sonia Jacobsen, from the CD Skins

Photo of Sonia Jacobsen

Composer and soprano saxophonist Sonia Jacobsen was born in 1967 in Camden, New South Wales, and moved to Denmark at the age of eight, where she lived from 1975-85. In France, 1985-1992, she earned a Musicology degree from Lyon University and a Gold Medal in jazz saxophone and composition from Chambery Conservatory. She then moved to New York in 1992 to study at The New School University Jazz Program, from which she graduated in 1996. Her teachers included a.o. Richie Beirach, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Vincent Herring, Robert Sadin, Maria Schneider and Reggie Workman. Furthermore she completed acoustic studies at L'Institut d'Acoustique et d'Electroacoustique, (Grenoble Conservatory, France).

Her music has been performed by Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (Germany), Philharmonia Virtuosi (NY), German-American Chamber Orchestra featuring Joe Lovano (NY), the New Juilliard Ensemble (NY), L'Orchestre National de Jazz (France), the Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra (LA), Mosaic Orchestra (NY) and the Royal Australian Air Force Band (Australia). She has been musical director of a number of ensembles ranging from small jazz ensembles (too many to mention) to string quartet (No Strings Attached) to big band (Mosaic Orchestra) to large orchestra - her most recent endeavor is the New York Symphonic Jazz Orchestra of which she is founder and musical director.

She has received numerous awards and prizes for her music, namely from France's l'Orchestre National de Jazz in 1996, and the 1999 ASCAP/IAJE Benny Carter Award (US). Other awards include the cultural award from the American Scandinavian Society (1997), the American Composers Forum's Commissioning Program Award (1997), the American Music Center's Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Award (1998 and 1999), the Danish Foreign Ministry/Cultural Affairs (1995), and ASCAP's Standard Award (2000-2006).

Her first CD as a leader was released in 1995 under the title Avalanche (Sun Sounds). Recent recordings include her Chamber Concerto No. One for string orchestra (Mediaphone-Madacy), Textures of Time with the jazz string quartet No Strings Attached as well as a few CDs as supporting artist and/or producer.

Jacobsen's musical interests swing between the contemporary classical world and the jazz world. She attempts a synthesis of these influences by combining them with her experience in world music and contemporary rhythms.

She has been teaching at The New School's Jazz program in NY since she graduated from there in 1996, and most recently, she has also joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina.

Biography provided by the composer — current to January 2007

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
The White Raven (trios: saxophone, piano, cello) Commissioned by Bohemian Trio.
In Anticipation : for clarinet and piano (2014) The duo version was requested by Marita Rodriguez
In Anticipation : for clarinet and piano (2014) This version was requested by Marita Rodriguez
In Anticipation (solo piano) (2002) Commissioned by New York International Pianofest Piano Bowl 2002
Chamber concerto no. 1 : Concerto grosso for improvising string trio and string orchestra (1997) Commissioned by Bernd Ruf