Sonia Wieder-Atherton has always sought to make music an open language to the world. It is this research that has led him over time from one repertoire to another, from discovery to discovery. In a permanent exploration. Turning and turning the trajectories, deviating borders, thwarting presuppositions in a tireless search for meaning.
She was born in San Francisco to a mother of Romanian origin and an American father. Then she grew up in New York and Paris.
In Paris, she enters the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Maurice Gendron’s Class.
At the age of 19 she passed the Iron Curtain and moved to Moscow to study with Natalya Shakhovskaya at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. It will keep in it from these Russian years, in addition to a teaching of excellence, a particular relationship to time, stories and people.
Back in France she becomes 25 years winner of the Rostropovitch Competition.
A long-time worker, Sonia Wieder-Atherton is constantly experimenting. She collaborates with many contemporary composers (Pascal Dusapin, Georges Aperghis, Wolfgang Rihm, …) of which she becomes the privileged interpreter.
Her play, her style, are immediately identifiable, which makes her a rare performer.
She performs as a soloist under the direction of numerous conductors: the Orchester de Paris, the Orchester National de France, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Liege Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the NDR Hanover Orchestra, the REMIX Ensemble, The Centuries, Asko / Schönberg … and regularly collaborates with musicians with whom she records and plays concerts (Imogen Cooper, Raphaël Oleg, …).
In recent years, she has been at the origin of many projects that she designs and directs: Chants juifs, a cycle for cello and piano, inspired by the art of the hazan. Chants d’Est, for cello and instrumental ensemble, conceived as a trip from Russia to Mittel Europa. Vita, for solo cello and three cellos, where she tells the life of Angioletta-Angel through two geniuses out of their time, Monteverdi and Scelsi. Odyssey for cello and imaginary choir, a single woman with her cello accompanied by a soundtrack, confronts the elements. Wind, waves, chaos, storms … Little Blue Girl, from Nina Simone.
For Sonia Wieder-Atherton,
to play Bach, Beethoven, Jewish songs or Nina Simone, is to make the same gesture, it is to ask the same question: that of a voice that can never be understood if it listens insolently.
Sonia Wieder-Atherton constantly pushes the limits of her explorations and it is in this same research that she turns with her cello to other expressions: add projects such as D’Est in music, show conceived with the images of the film D’Est by Chantal Akerman. Nocturnal dances, with Charlotte Rampling, where the works of Benjamin Britten and Sylvia Plath meet. Ship Night, by Marguerite Duras, with Fanny Ardant.
In 2011, she received the Bernheim Foundation’s Arts Award, which annually nominates three winners whose work has creative value in each of the arts, literature and sciences.
In 2015, she was named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.