Ellen Sonnenberg is a violinist from Wisconsin currently in the violin section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to being an active performer in the Rochester area, she is a devout violin teacher currently offering in-person and online lessons. Ellen maintains a large private studio and enjoys teaching a variety of ages and levels, from young students beginning with the Suzuki Method through advanced students. She has completed several courses in Suzuki Teacher Training with Christie Felsing and Martha Shackford. She also teaches private lessons and group classes at the Eastman Community Music School and St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy in Geneva.
Ellen began her violin studies at age five with the Suzuki Method. After expressing an affinity for music early in her life, Ellen’s mom saw an advertisement in the paper offering Suzuki violin lessons, and she began her training. Ellen continued her musical studies with former Assistant and Associate Concertmasters of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Jerome Franke and Samantha George. Ellen earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Federico Agostini. She continued her studies at Eastman with RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde, graduating with her Master of Music and Literature degree. During her time at Eastman, Ellen served as a graduate teaching assistant and spent several years as a Concertmaster, leading the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Opera Orchestra, and the Eastman Philharmonia. While completing her Masters Degree and before joining the RPO, Ellen was a tenured member of Symphoria in Syracuse, NY. With the RPO, Ellen performed in a live recording of a world premier for the album American Rapture, which received a Grammy Award in 2020.
Ellen participated in several summer festivals, including the National Repertory Orchestra, the Orford Academy of Music, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she was an Emerson Scholar. She also participated in the Collegium Musicum Summer Academy at Weissenstein Castle in Pommersfelden, Germany, serving as principle second violin and soloing with the chamber orchestra.