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Sonia Wieder-Atherton

For Sonia Wieder-Atherton, music has always been a laboratory. Her unbounded research has taken her from one repertoire to another, from one discovery to the next. She was born in San Francisco and grew up in New-York and then Paris. At 19 she crossed the iron curtain to live in Moscow, where she studied with Natalia Shakhovskaya at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Returning to France, she won the Rostropovich Competition at the age of 25.

Sonia Wieder-Atherton enjoys nothing better than to decipher the language of contemporary composers like Pascal Dusapin, Georges Aperghis, and Wolfgang Rihm, all of whom she has been prompt to champion and who have written for her. She performs as a soloist under the guidance of numerous conductors, notably: the Paris Orchestra, the French National Orchestra, the Belgian National Orchestra and the Liège Philharmonic.

For her, playing Bach, Beethoven, Jewish songs or Nina Simone, is the same movement, asking the same questioning: that of a voice that can never be understood if it is heard in isolation. Sonia Wieder-Atherton constantly pushes back the boundaries, venturing with her cello into other artistic forms. In 2011, she received the Bernheim Foundation Award, which each year acknowledges three creative works in the fields of the arts, literature and science.