Dr. Sonja Harasim
Assistant Professor, Violin, Viola
String Area Coordinator
Director, Concordia String Preparatory Program
Violinist Sonja Harasim 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, where she also coaches chamber music and serves as the String Area Coordinator. In addition to her dedication to teaching, she maintains an active performing career locally, nationally, and internationally as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. She currently serves as Associate Concertmaster of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony and collaborates frequently in chamber music projects with her colleagues and students. She has performed at numerous preeminent music festivals, including Schleswig-Holstein, International Holland Music Sessions, Sarasota, Encore, Tanglewood, Aspen, Round Top, Brevard, and Interlochen. As a soloist, she has been featured with the Shepherd Symphony Orchestra at Rice University, Concordia Orchestra, and 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, Russell Peterson and Christopher Walczak, have dedicated pieces to her and, in 2010, she premiered Dr. Walczak's Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra. The concerto served as the centerpiece of their documentary, a unique behind the scenes look at their collaborative process. 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, and with the Willy Street Chamber Players in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2017, she will be a featured guest artist with the Apollo Chamber Players in Houston, Texas.
A sought after pedagogue and chamber music coach, Harasim is also on the faculty of the 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 numerous competitions, including the Houston Youth, Houston Civic, and Clear Lake Symphonies’ concerto competitions, as well as the MTNA North Dakota Young Artist Competition. She has given masterclasses at University of North Dakota and St. Olaf College, among others.
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. Recordings, performance schedule, and more information can be found at www.sonjaharasim.com.