Sonya has always considered music to be her first language. While she remembers learning to read words, she can’t recall a time she didn’t understand music on the page. Encouraged by two musical parents, she started composing at a young age, and music quickly became her primary academic focus.

She spent her secondary school years at the Purcell School, London, where she studied composition with Alison Cox. While there, Sonya participated in an array of composition and new music workshops, and an early orchestral piece was performed at St. John’s Smith Square. She was accepted to Boston University as a composer, but ultimately chose cello performance as her concentration.

Though she was principally a cellist during her undergraduate studies, she took private composition lessons and 20th century analysis as electives. An orchestral piece she wrote was read by her university colleagues. After her undergraduate, composition remained a private personal pursuit that she mostly kept to herself 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.

Sonya now shares her love of composition and new music with a new generation of composers through Go Compose North America. She leads and administrates a variety of workshops and programs for school-aged composers around the world.

Sonya bases her composition and teaching philosophy on four key principles:

  1. Anyone can compose.
  2. An accomplished composer doesn’t need to read music to be successful.
  3. Every composer should take a multi-faceted approach to music, especially their own.
  4. Each composer must find their own way to make music-making work for them.