Livia Sohn, Violinist

Livia SohnHailed by Opus Magazine as “a stunning musician”, violinist LIVIA SOHN performs widely on the international stage as concerto soloist, recitalist, and festival guest artist in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Strad Magazine says, “Livia Sohn possesses a remarkably lithe and transparent tone of exceptional purity. [Her] virtually blemishless accounts are nothing short of remarkable. Even when under the most fearsome technical pressure at high velocity, every note rings true with pinpoint accuracy.”

Following an active summer that started with a return appearance at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC, Livia went on to perform at Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, NY, The Newport Music Festival in Rhode Island, Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine, and the Orlando International Music Festival in The Netherlands. The 2016-17 season includes performances in San Francisco, New York, Rome, and Venice, and a debut appearance on the Music Worcester series in Massachusetts. It will conclude with a performance and recording of the monumental Max Reger Concerto, in Holland with the Gruppo Montebello, and to be released on the Etcetera Records label.

This past season saw Livia performing with orchestras from Mexico, Korea, Iowa, and California, as well as chamber music and recitals in New York, Connecticut and Michigan, playing repertoire ranging from Telemann to Sean Shepherd. In January 2016, a recording of opera transcriptions for violin and piano entitled  “Opera Fantasies, Volume 2”, was released on the Naxos label, featuring Livia and pianist Benjamin Loeb, which included world premieres by composers Daron Hagen and Jonathan Berger.

Livia has been a guest soloist in North America with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Seattle, Milwaukee, Edmonton, Rochester, Austin, Phoenix, New York Chamber Symphony, Boston Pops, and Brooklyn Philharmonic San Antonio, Oregon, Dayton, Winston-Salem, Hartford, Cheyenne, Quad Cities, Green Bay, Boca Raton, Louisville, I Musici de Montreal, and Aspen Festival Orchestra, among others. She has performed with many eminent conductors, including Yehudi Menuhin, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, James DePreist, Gerard Schwarz, Sidney Harth, Myung-Whun Chung, William Eddins, Grant Llewellyn, Lukas Foss, Jane Glover, Junichi Hirokami, Murry Sidlin, and Jorge Mester.

Internationally, she has performed as soloist with the Budapest Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony, Cologne Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic and Boca del Rio Philharmonic in Mexico, Hungarian Radio Philharmonic, Orchestra del Teatro Marrucino di Chieti in Italy, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Limburgs Sinfonie Orkest in Holland, The City of London Sinfonia, Asia Philharmonic Orchestra, Korea’s Seoul and Pusan Philharmonics, and the Wuhan Philharmonic in China. She performed a multi-city tour with South Africa’s National Symphony and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestras and has performed solo recitals in Spain, Mexico, Cyprus, Israel, and Japan.

An avid chamber musician, Livia has been a guest artist at festivals such as the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland, Cartagena International Music Festival in Colombia, Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Edmonton Chamber Music Society, Newport Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts, Maverick Concerts, Brevard Festival, Chamber Music Society of Sonoma, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Prince Albert Music Festival in Hawaii, Festival of the Sound and Pender Harbour Music Festival in Canada, and Festival de San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

In recital, Livia has appeared at New York City’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Washington D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, Stanford University’s Lively Arts series, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall in Boston, Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago, Gwinnett Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, Xavier University in Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, Peace Center for the Performing Arts in South Carolina, and the Broad Stage in Los Angeles.

Born from her love of chamber music, Livia is part of the piano trio Latitude 41, which was formed in 2009 with pianist Bernadene Blaha and cellist Luigi Piovano. Their debut CD of Schubert’s monumental Trio in E flat major, and Schubert’s “Notturno”, was released in 2011 on the label Eloquentia to rave reviews. Their recording of the piano trios by Camille Saint-Saëns was released in March 2015 to similar acclaim. Among other places, they have performed in Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco. Highlights from this season will see them perform in Port Townsend, Washington, and Rome, Italy. This past May, they trio had the honor of performing in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in its Annual Notable Occasion concert.

National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” hosted Livia as an Artist-in-Residence for five days, during which she gave live interviews and performances of a different program each day. Other career highlights include performing at the inaugural concerts of Harris Hall at Aspen, and her performance with Lukas Foss and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra at the “11th Annual New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace”, held at New York City’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine before an audience of 10,000.

In addition to the CDs she has recorded with Latitude 41, last year the Eloquentia label released a disc of Livia playing the concertos of Benjamin Britten and living composer Jonathan Berger. Gramaphone Magazine says of this recording, “Sohn’s playing…is shot through with angst and urgency…”, and The Strad Magazine says “Violinist Livia Sohn gives a committed account of the solo part, and she demonstrates an ease in getting through the notes, even where Britten sets his formidable double-stopping challenges.” Livia can be heard on the Naxos label in the CDs “Opera Fantasies”, which features opera arrangements for violin and piano (and includes three world premiere transcriptions), and “Miracles and Mud”, featuring works by Jonathan Berger.  She can also be heard on iTunes performing the Dvorak and Khachaturian Concertos in a live recording with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra.

Livia gave her first public performance at age eight. In 1989, at the age of 13, she won First Prize in the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, where she was also awarded the Audience Prize. She attended the Juilliard Pre-College Division from the age of seven, at which time she began her studies with Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang. She continued under their tutelage at the Juilliard School, where she also studied chamber music with the legendary Felix Galamir. Livia plays on a J. B. Guadagnini violin crafted in 1770, and a Samuel Zygmuntowicz made in 2006. She has been on faculty at the Music Department of Stanford University since 2005, and makes her home in the Bay Area.