Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

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Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
Born (1961-01-10) January 10, 1961 (age 53)
Rome, Italy
Genres Classical
Occupations Musician, author
Instruments Violin
Years active 1986–present
Labels EMI, Nonesuch, NSS Music
Website Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (born January 10, 1961) is an Italian-born classical violinist, author, and teacher. She is an American citizen.


Salerno-Sonnenberg was born in Rome. She immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of eight, relocating to Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and later with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School of Music. In 1981, she became the youngest-ever prize winner in the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. She was honored with an Avery Fisher Career Grant (1983), and in 1999 she received the Avery Fisher Prize, for "outstanding achievement and excellence in music."

In 1994, Salerno-Sonnenberg badly injured one of her fingers in a kitchen accident, a potentially career-ending injury. Her fingertip was surgically reattached, and by 1996 she returned to performing.[1]

She has been a frequent guest on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and has also been featured on 60 Minutes. In May 1999, 60 Minutes II aired a follow-up to 60 Minutes' 1986 feature about her. She has also appeared on the sitcom Dharma & Greg.

Salerno-Sonnenberg has released many recordings on the Angel/EMI Classics, Nonesuch, and NSS Music labels. She has performed with orchestras around the world and played at the White House. She has also performed with such popular artists as Mandy Patinkin, Joe Jackson, and Mark O'Connor. She has frequently collaborated with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott.

In 1989, she wrote Nadja: On My Way, an autobiography written for children. In May 1999 she received an honorary Master of Musical Arts degree from New Mexico State University, the university's first honorary degree. She is also the subject of Paola di Florio's documentary Speaking in Strings.

Salerno-Sonnenberg was selected as the Music Director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, which she began leading in the fall of 2008.[2]

Salerno-Sonnenberg holds U.S. patent no. 5,121,928, for a movie-trivia board game.[3]


  1. ^ Notes like champagne, BNet News[dead link]
  2. ^ Salerno-Sonnenberg to direct New Century Chamber Orchestra[dead link]
  3. ^ U.S. patent no. 5,121,928, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Method of playing a question and answer movie board game, June 16, 1992

Partial discography[edit]

On Angel/EMI Classics:

  • Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Massenet (1990)
  • Brahms: Violin Concerto in D/Bruch: Concerto #1 in G Minor (1990)
  • Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (1991)
  • It Ain't Necessarily So (1992)
  • Barber: Violin Concerto; Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 (1992)
  • Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Chausson: Poeme for Violin & Orchestra (1993)
  • Bella Italia: From the Aspen Music Festival (1997)
  • Night & Day (1998)

On Nonesuch/Elektra Records:

  • Humoresque (1998)
  • Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Sérgio and Odair Assad (2000)

On NSS Music:

  • Live (2005)
  • Tchaikovsky & Assad: Concertos in D major (2005)
  • Merry: a Holiday Journey (2006)
  • Together (with New Century Chamber Orchestra) (2009)

External links[edit]