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Sonya working at table wearing grey cardie with rainbow stripes.

Composing

D'Arley - Yoon Chung, PianoSonya Knussen
00:00 / 04:09
Ko - version for ensemble aloneSonya Knussen
00:00 / 01:43
Ko - version for Trumpet & EnsembleSonya Knussen
00:00 / 01:43

As someone who has always considered music to be my first language (I can't remember a time when I didn't understand the notes on a page but I do remember learning to read words), I'm deeply passionate about sharing my love of composition with others.

 

Supported by my musical parents, Olly and Sue, I began composing at a young age. I attended the Purcell School in London, where I studied composition with Alison Cox. During my time there, I participated in various composition and new music workshops, and had the privilege of having one of my early orchestral pieces performed at St. John's Smith Square.

Although I initially enrolled at Boston University as a composer, I eventually chose to concentrate on cello performance. However, I continued to nurture my passion for composition by taking private lessons and studying 20th-century analysis as electives. I had the opportunity to have one of my orchestral pieces read by my university colleagues. After completing my undergraduate studies, composition became a private pursuit that I mostly kept to myself until recently.

Her compositions include D’Arley (2019 rev. 2021) for solo piano, and Ko (2021) in three versions: solo trumpet, ensemble, and trumpet & ensemble.

Now, I share my love of composition and new music with a new generation of composers through Go Compose North America where I lead and administrates a variety of workshops and programs for school-aged composers around the world. I also teach private composition lessons. 

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