Sonja Kraus, originally from Germany, is an international cellist, teacher, and researcher whose musical career has taken her around the world. Early in her career, she traveled with the National Youth Orchestra of Germany to Japan, Venezuela, and more than ten countries in Europe. During her Bachelor’s, her piano trio Ananda performed in many countries all over Europe with frequent appearances in Germany, France, and Switzerland. In August 2012, Sonja moved to the United States and has since performed as soloist or as part of chamber music ensembles in many states from East to West Coast. She has recently expanded her career to Latin American countries, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador.
Currently, Sonja holds the position of Assistant Professor of Music (Cello) at the University of South Dakota where she teaches cello, string methods, chamber orchestra, and aural skills. She is also the cellist of the renowned Rawlins Piano Trio. In the past year, Sonja has been the cello professor at the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo in Guayaquil where she helped to develop the first Master’s program for musicians in Ecuador. At the same time, she was the principal cellist of the Orquesta Filarmónica Municipal de Guayaquil. Before she moved to Ecuador, Sonja was a doctoral student at the Jacobs School of Music – Indiana University Bloomington where she previously earned her Master’s degree. Before moving to the United States, Sonja finished her Bachelor’s in cello and pedagogy at the University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart, Germany.
Sonja has been teaching since she started her studies in Germany. From the beginning, she mentored pre-college students at the Musikschule Unterensingen. After moving to the US, she was the Associate Instructor for cello at the Jacobs School of Music – Indiana University Bloomington, where she later joined the faculty of the String Academy. During the past four summers, Sonja has been the staff coordinator and cello instructor at CelloChanWoods in Vermont. Additionally, she has been a sought after instructor for masterclasses in the US and internationally. Some of the universities she has been invited to include: DePaul University School of Music, Chicago IL; University of Reno, NV; Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico; Colegio Universitario San Gerónimo de La Habana, Cuba; and University of Music and Performing Arts Frankfurt, Germany.
During her time in Indiana, Sonja has been assistant principal cellist in the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and a member of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. In her final year in Germany, she worked in the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra and before that as substitute cellist for the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the Stuttgart Opera Orchestra. As a researcher, Sonja focuses on broadening the cello repertoire by identifying manuscripts and creating editions of unpublished cello works from the classical era. So far, she has found three cello concertos by Franz Anton Hoffmeister and is in the process of creating scholarly editions for these works. Sonja will record all three concertos with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. During this production for Naxos, she will collaborate with the conductor Constantin Trinks and the music producer Michael Fine.