Author Archive

Ross Edwards’ “Maninyas” with The Houston Ballet in Germany

I am so so excited and honoured to be performing Ross Edwards’ incredible Violin Concerto “Maninyas” and Mozart Violin Concerto no. 5 as soloist with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and the Houston Ballet at the Theatre I’m Pflazbau on 7 & 8 April!!!

The concerts feature a trio of ballets choreographed by the amazing Stanton Welch – Tapestry (set to Violin Concerto no. 5 by W.A. Mozart), Maninyas (set to Maninyas Violin Concerto by R. Edwards) and Velocity (set to ‘Green’ and ‘Ash’ by Michael Torke).

A very Aussie event – with Australian composer (Ross Edwards), Australian choreographer (Stanton Welch), Australian conductor (Simon Hewett) and me! 😀 #oioioi

More info and tickets here.


‘Harlequin Phoenix’ debut with The Hot Box Girls Vienna

Getting my Opera education in a Burlesque club. 🙂 Looking forward to debuting as ‘Harlequin Phoenix’ with the amazing The Hot Box Girls Wien / Vienna at Kabarett Vindobona tomorrow night (yes of course there is fire involved) ;).

Monthly shows until the end of the year! Hope to see you!!


“Nigel Kennedy & Friends” UK shows

Great to be back in the UK for two very special shows “Nigel Kennedy & Friends” at Symphony Hall, Birmingham (11 March) and Royal Albert Hall, London (14 March). Guest artists include Jean-Luc Ponty, Georgi Andreev, Michael Guttman, Peter Daniel and Robert Plant.


Coming home! Australian performance dates. :)

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27 & 28 Jan – Sydney Opera House
29 Jan – Australian Open Tennis pre-final show
30 & 31 Jan – Melbourne Hamer Hall
2 Feb – Brisbane QPAC
5 Feb – Perth Concert Hall

 
* The Carnival circus-opera

17 & 18 Feb – The Concourse, Sydney

Hope to see you! x


Benefizkonzert with Johannesgasse Solisten

Tonight! Mahler 1 with a twist… 🙂 Celebrating 50 years of relations between Austria and Burkina Faso, proceeds going to the ÖJAB Project “Street Children of Ouagadougou”. I feel privileged to play under conductor Attilia Kiyoko Cernitori as concertmaster of this beautiful ensemble made up of musicians from all over the world. Nothing is impossible. 😉 Event info here.


Charity Christmas Concert for the Australian Embassy Vienna

Tonight!!! Join us for a Charity Christmas concert and some awesome good vibes, possibly the most Australian song ever written by Bach, as well as my Vienna double bass debut.

Plus you’ll be supporting the awesome work of CaritasVienna and Diakonie Österreich. Made possible by Kate Louise Rafferty, Concerts for Vienna and Australian Embassy – Vienna. Event info here.


Artists for change

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My amazing friend Abe McWilliams has started this beautiful initiative – artists reaching out internationally to spread love and tolerance through performances, flashmobs, actions and peaceful demonstrations – to combat hate in the best way we know how – with art. First events are being planned in London UK, Boston USA, and Vilnius Lithuania. Please check out the facebook page, mission statement and feel free to get in touch with your ideas!


“Concerts for Vienna” Season Launch!

Joining some amazing artists (pianist Alfredo Ovales, tenor David Jagodic and fellow Aussie, soprano Kate Rafferty) for the launch of Kate’s new series “Concerts for Vienna”!!! Hope to see you there!
21 October, 19h
Karl-Borromäus Saal (Karl-Borromäus Platz 3, Vienna 1030).
Tickets here.

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Celebrating Jarek Śmietana

Back in Poland this week, leading the Extra Sounds Ensemble for a beautiful event celebrating the life and music of the legendary Jarek Śmietana. If you are anywhere near Krakow, come!! More event information here.

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‘The Freestyle Orchestra’ – Audience Choice award, Tarisio Young Artist Grants 2016!!!

To everyone who supported us by sharing and voting – we did it!!!
The Freestyle Orchestra are the recipients of the Audience Choice award for the 2016 Tarisio Young Artist Grants!!!
Cannot wait to share the results of our training with you very soon. For now, a small video from us with a huge thank you!! 🙂


‘New Moves’ with the Dutch National Ballet

Excited to be back at the Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam this week, rehearsing and performing ‘The Phoenix’ – a new piece for solo violinist and solo dancer (Joey Massarelli) for the New Moves choreography festival. Choreographed by Remi Wortmeyer and composed by Chloé Charody, performances on 24 June. More info here.

 


Benefit Concert with Johannesgasse Solisten

Performing tonight as Concertmaster with the Johannesgasse Solisten (Vienna) and conductor Tilly Cernitori, raising funds or ÖJAB’s ‘Street Children of Burkina Faso’ project. More info here.

 


***Please Vote*** The Freestyle Orchestra shortlisted for Tarisio Young Artist Grant!

Thrilled that one of my projects, The Freestyle Orchestra, has been selected for the audience voting round for the Tarisio Auctions Young Artists Grants 2016!!!

That means we need your assistance – please help us by clicking the link and voting for us (bottom of page, under Sonja Schebeck). Will take max 5 seconds and we’d really appreciate it! 🙂
http://tarisio.com/news/young-artists-grants-2016-winners/
 
A little introductory video:
 


Back on the road with Nigel Kennedy

Amazing to be back with a most important part of my musical family, touring the UK with Nigel Kennedy and members of the Orchestra of Life.

Program includes Nigel’s new take on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as well as some of his own pieces entitled ‘Dedications’ – each to mentors of his own. Lots of fun! More info and dates here.

 


New fire piece at Mosaïque Wien!

Back for Mosaïque Wien this weekend for a Shakespeare themed Mini-Festival!

Performing violin/fire eating/manipulation alongside one of my partners in crime from The Freestyle Orchestra, violinist/fire artist/acrobat Farid Feyzullayev, for our semi-choreographed version of the solo violin work ‘Fire is in mine ears’ by the seriously talented composer/conductor/pianist Daniel Masmanian (UK/Australia). Our most ambitious fire work to date, we cannot wait to share it with you!!

These things cannot be done without an awesome team; special thanks to Antonio Chorbadzhiyski (safety) and Georgina Oakes (rehearsal support).

Event also features the Vienna Theatre Project, Chanda VanderHart, some brilliant singers and musicians, a distinct possibility of some puppetry and fencing, and catering from the vegetarian chef-duo ‘Food of Love’. Details and tickets here!


Zirkus Pikard Season Opening!

Thrilled to be playing once again alongside cellist Antonio Chorbadzhiyski and the amazing team at Zirkus Pikard tonight for the new season “Träume werden Wirklichkeit” (dreams become reality), opening in Mannersdorf! 🙂 Some incredible new acts (and props!) debuting tonight!! ❤


Beethoven Orchestra for Humanity in London

Thrilled to be playing with this amazing new ensemble – melding universal music with global issues – for their inaugural concert at the Menier Chocolate Factory Studio in London tomorrow night! Featuring Francesca Martinez (comedian, activist and writer) speaking about climate change and social responsibility.

Unfortunately sold out this time (go team!) but please head over to their Facebook page here and give it a like for future events.


Farewell 2015

Busy few weeks back in Vienna to close out the year, from sitting in again with the amazing Wiener Symphoniker accompanying Igudesman & Joo at the end of November, to appearing in benefit concerts with new groups Johannesgasse Solisten (for ÖJAB’s ‘Street Children of Burkina Faso’ project) and Ensemble Australis (supported by the Australian Embassy in Austria for refugee projects of Caritas and Diakonie) – and being reminded time and time again how lucky I am to be surrounded with such amazing and inspiring artists!

Plus of course hard at work training with my amazing Freestyle Orchestra crew and generally cooking up some new and crazy projects that I can’t wait to share with you in 2016.

If you are reading this, many many thanks for your support and here’s to seeing you at a concert soon! 🙂


Nigel Kennedy’s New Four Seasons

Super proud to have played on this record, released on October 9! A short album trailer here:


Lucerne Festival with Igudesman & Joo and the League of X-traordinary Musicians

Good times rocking the stage once more at the KKL with my ‘X-traordinary’ colleagues at the Lucerne Festival! The theme of this years festival was ‘Humour’ and who would be more fitting than Igudesman & Joo? 🙂

More info and tix here. A little hint of the madness:


NÖKISS Festival!

Super excited to be playing at the Niederösterreich Kinder Sommerspiele in Herzogenberg as part of the Zirkus Pikard “Zirkus Gala” tonight! Performing excerpts from ‘PyroViolinist’ fireshow alongside cellist Antonio Chorbadzhiyski. Pics: The Zirkus Pikard tent and my ‘Human Candelabra’! 🙂
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Mosaïque in collaboration with Zirkus Pikard

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Delighted to be joining the team at Mosaïque to reprise the opening show from this season “CIRCUS” under the Big Top in collaboration with Zirkus Pikard.

This Saturday, June 13th at 7PM, we’ll be in the red and white tent at Aupark, Klosterneuburg, joining the crew of Zirkus Pikard for an evening of classical music combined with trapeze, juggling, aerials, fire and a host of other surprises. I will perform excerpts from ‘PyroViolinist’ fireshow with the amazing Chanda VanderHart and other violin madness including Saint-Saens Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso featuring the incomparable Deirdre Brenner as pianist/mime and excerpts from Ravel Sonata no. 2 featuring juggler Alexander Schneller. Popcorn and cotton candy await so come on down, will be a fun night!

Special thanks also to Deirdre Brenner for being my fire safety for the night. 🙂

CD Release: Extra Sounds Ensemble ‘Metamorphoses’

So proud to have been a part of this awesome project, the debut recording from the Krakow-based Extra Sounds Ensemble with Alicja Śmietana and Pekka Kuusisto! Available on CD and iTunes. Released April 15, already chalking up sweet reviews across the continent. Go team!

A little behind the scenes action here for you. Hot tip: kickass La Folia at 0:54. 😉


Tribute to Luba Schebeck

With greatest sadness, I announce the passing from sudden stroke of my beautiful mother Luba Schebeck on 12 March 2015 in Sydney, Australia at the age of 69.

Maa and Sonja

I wish to pay respect to the fact that if it were not for my mother I would not be a musician.

I became entranced by the violin after attending a Baby Prom by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and from then on mimicked the movements with any objects I could find.

After making inquiries, my mother discovered the Suzuki Method and she was there from the start, from attending lessons and supervising practice as per the Suzuki violin school from the beginning of my studies at age 3 with Barbara Hayward, sewing dresses for concerts, to taking pages and pages of notes during masterclasses and lessons with my professor at the Sydney Conservatorium, Christopher Kimber. She hardly ever missed a concert and luckily was even present to observe my very last violin lesson with Professor Florian Zwiauer before I completed my Masters examination in Vienna.

Though not inherently musical, she always gave me her unwavering support and will remain my strongest influence in wishing to create classical music concerts that appeal to a wider audience. An electrical engineer by trade, she worked with Siemens by personal invitation on the circuits and computerised stage lighting at the Sydney Opera House. As such, it is extremely special for me whenever I perform there.

I could not have wished for anything else in a mother except more time. I will be forever thankful for her grounding support which gave me the foundation to follow my own path in music and am grateful that though unconscious, I was able to be by her side for the last days and play for her one last time in the ICU, and then of course at a ceremony filled with music and wonderful memories.

Rest in peace my incredible mother. I am grateful for the time we had. Words cannot do justice to the profound influence you will continue to have on my life. With deepest love and respect.

(Photo: taken by Markus Wögerbauer during my parents’ visit to Vienna, Xmas/New Year 2014/15)