"This gift to create, it was just there. Something I want to share."
Sonja Grossner was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Her first attempts at composition were made at the same time she started to learn to play the violin at the age of eight.
At eleven she attended the Berkshire School of Music in Reading on Saturdays.
A holiday trip 1960 turned into a permanent stay in former East Germany and she subsequently studied violin at the Carl Maria von Weber Hochschule fur Musik in Dresden as well as composition with Manfred Weiss, prior to working as a violinist in the Freiberg Theater Orchestra and the Dresden Operetta Theater. Then later as an instrumental tutor. Following her return to the UK in 1984 she continued to work as an instrumental tutor.
She is also a member of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
She has written approx 200 works that include 6 string quartets, two symphonies, various songs, one ballet The Little Match Girl, various pieces for children, sonatas for flute, piano and violin, pieces for string orchestra and full orchestra.
Parody for piano and percussion was commissioned by Klammer 4 and given its first performance 1996 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
String Quartet No 3, Dark Adagio, won the 1999 Birmingham Chamber music composition prize, and received its premiere by the Vellinger Quartet.
Two orchestral works, Destiny and From Dark to Light (the final section of the ballet: Little Match Girl), were performed and premiered by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Republic, as part of the Vienna Modern Masters Festival, June 2000 and June 2001.
Third and fourth movements from her string quartet no 4, Cross Roads, won the Almira String Quartet competition for 2002, and Song of Pan (a sonata for flute and piano) received its first performance in Italy at the International Conference in Teramo 2002.
2004 she was awarded the graduation composition prize, and the fifth movement of her 2nd symphony Genesis was given its first performance at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
The BBC Singers, February 2005, premiered Mr. and Mrs. Spikky Sparrow, text from Edward Lear.
She is also working together with Sound Sculptor Derek Shiel. Her composition for sound sculptures and two singers The course of Sun and Moon was premiered at the Guildford Cathedral 2007. Approaching Storm, also for sound sculptures and singer was premiered April 2009 in London.
Her piano concerto Within Reflecting Echoes was premiered 9th May 2009 at the Fraser Noble Hall in Leicester performed by the Leicester Sinfonia Orchestra with the soloist Duncan Honeybourne and conducted by Michael Sackin. This is the work in Sonja´s Composer of the Month feature for January 2013. She has written a book in loving memory of her parents and the piano concerto is a musical version of this book. Called The Troubles to Greet Beauty, it is available from Sonja direct as well as from Amazon. The first part is also available on Kindle. Extracts from this can be read on her website:
CCA's Composer of the Month, JANUARY 2013 Sonja Grossner has had a interesting life in music which continues after her successful PhD. She has been selected as the second of Central Composers'...