violinist, violist and Educator
Sonja Harasim, performer and educator, has been described as an “undeniably impressive” performer (James Chute, San Diego Union-Tribune, August 21, 2011), and hailed for her attention to detail, making “every note count deliciously” (Joel Luks, Culture Map Houston, April 26, 2011). Dr. Harasim is Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where she is Co-Founder and Director of the Concordia String Preparatory Program and serves as String Area Coordinator. Additionally, she maintains an active performing career locally, nationally, and internationally as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. Harasim currently serves as Concertmaster of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony and collaborates frequently in chamber music projects with her colleagues and students. Recent engagements included performances and masterclasses at “Outside the Box” at the University of Southern Illinois-Carbondale, University of North Florida, University of South Florida, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Valparaiso University and with the Willy Street Chamber Players, Apollo Chamber Players and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. She has performed at numerous preeminent music festivals, including Schleswig-Holstein, International Holland Music Sessions, Sarasota, Encore, Tanglewood, Aspen, Round Top, Brevard, and Interlochen, most recently serving as Principal 2nd Violin at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA. As a soloist, she has been featured with the Shepherd Symphony Orchestra at Rice University, Concordia Orchestra, and the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony. Before joining Concordia’s faculty, Harasim performed frequently with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and Da Camera of Houston. Performance highlights include those at the “Grieg in Bergen” concert series in Norway, Library of Congress and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., La Jolla SummerFest in California, and most recently, in Järvenpää, Finland. She has been featured on MPR’s “Regional Spotlight” and Houston Public Radio’s “The Front Row.” Harasim is dedicated to the performance of new music and little known works worthy of great acclaim, particularly those composed by Frank Bridge, the subject of her doctoral thesis. Several composers, including Karim Al-Zand, Daniel Breedon, Benjamin Krause, Richard Lavenda, Russell Peterson and Christopher Walczak, have written pieces to her.
A sought after pedagogue and chamber music coach, Harasim is also on the faculty of the North Star Chamber Music Festival and Symposium at Concordia College, International Music Camp, Soiva Music Camp, and the Minnesota All-State Camp, and frequently works with the violinists and chamber groups at the Fargo-Moorhead Area Youth Symphony and the Northern Valley Youth Orchestra. She previously taught violin and chamber music at Rice University’s Michael P. Hammond Preparatory School, the Houston Youth Symphony, and Chamber Music of the Rockies. Her students have been featured on Houston Public Radio and have won prizes in numerous competitions, including the Grieg Society of Minnesota, Houston Youth, Houston Civic, and Clear Lake Symphonies’ concerto competitions, as well as the MTNA North Dakota Young Artist Competition. Harasim’s students have participated in prominent music festivals all over the world and have gone onto distinguished graduate programs in music performance and other fields of study.
A native of Houston, Texas, Harasim began her violin studies at the age of 5 in the Suzuki program at Parker Elementary with Karen Somer, Kathy Karpicke, and Rosemary Jodeit and went on to study with Albert Muenzer while attending the critically acclaimed High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She completed her undergraduate studies with David Updegraff at the Cleveland Institute of Music and returned to her hometown to pursue her graduate studies with Kenneth Goldsmith and doctoral studies with Cho-Liang Lin at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Harasim plays a violin made in 2011 by Mario Miralles, modeled after Mr. Lin’s “Titian” Stradivarius.