Grażyna Bacewicz

Quartet (1949) for Four Violins

Born February 5th, 1909, died January 17th, 1969
Bacewicz was one of the few female composers in Poland.

It is a field in which women have always been heavily underrepresented.

France produced another noted female composer, Nadia Boulanger,
who was known as an outstanding composition teacher. It was from her that
Bacewicz learned the technique she would skilfully use to compose her various pieces,
most of which are neoclassical in style.

As a trained and practicing violin virtuoso, Bacewicz always had a special interest
in violin and string music; she composed seven violin concertos, one viola and
two cello concertos, seven string quartets, five violin and piano sonatas and
two sonatas for solo violin.

Everything about her at

Grażyna Bacewicz


Béla Bartók

Six Romanian Folk Dances (arr. Femke Sonnen)
Fuga from the Sonate for solo violin (arr. Femke Sonnen)

Born March 25th, 1881, died September 26, 1945
Hungarian composer, pianist, ethnomusicologist and teacher.

He wrote orchestral works, string quartets, piano solos, stage works,
a cantata, and a number of settings of folk songs for voice and piano.

Béla Bartók


Dmitri Sjostakovitsj

Prélude nr. 4 from “24 Préludes and Fugues” for piano op. 87
Canon from “Ten Aphorisms” for piano op. 13 (arr. F. Sonnen)

Born September 25th, 1906, died August 9th 1975

Opus 87 is a set of 24 Préludes and fugues for solo piano, one in each
of the major and minor keys of the chromatic scale. The cycle was composed in 1950 and 1951
while Sjostakovitsj was in Moscow and premiered by pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva in Leningrad in December 1952.

The entire work takes about two and a half hours to play.
It is one of several examples of music written in all major and/or minor keys.

Dmitri Sjostakovitsj


Kurt Weill

Youkali (arr. F. Sonnen)

Born March 2nd, 1900, died April 3th, 1950

Kurt Weill is most famous for his revolutionary kind of opera of sharp social satire
which he created in collaboration with the writer Bertolt Brecht.

Weill’s political and musical ideas and his Jewish birth made him persona non grata to the Nazis,
and he left Berlin for Paris and then for London. His music was banned in Germany until after World War II.

Weill started off in New York City in 1937. His songs and theatrical entreactes have remained popular.

Kurt Weill


Leoš Janáček


Born July 3rd, 1854, died August 12th, 1928

Leoš Janáček was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher. He was inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style.

Until 1895 he devoted himself mainly to folkloristic research. While his early musical output
was influenced by contemporaries such as Antonín Dvořák, his later, mature works incorporate
his earlier studies of national folk music in a modern, highly original synthesis, first evident
in the opera Jenůfa, which was premiered in 1904 in Brno.

Leoš Janáček

Femke Sonnen

Dream from the Past (2019)

Born November 24th 1961


Astor Piazzolla

Fuga y Misterio (arr. Femke Sonnen)
A Tango Suite (arr. J. Milone)

Born March 11th, 1921, died July 4th, 1992

Piazzolla was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger.

His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango,
incorporating elements from jazz and classical music.

A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.

His compositions are frequently arranged and performed by world famous classical musicians.

Astor Piazolla


Julian Milone

Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen for 4 Violins and Bass

In 1979 he joined the first violin section of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and
four years later became a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, a position he continues to hold.

Away from the Philharmonia he plays in András Schiff's hand-picked chamber orchestra,
the Cappella Andrea Barca, in violin ensemble concerts with his group, '4 Violins &a Bass'
and is professor of violin at the Kent Academy of Music

His compositions and arrangements have been performed by orchestras and groups
throughout the world, directed by conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy,
David Robertson, Mikael Pletnev and Carl Davis.

Recent arrangements have been recorded for EMI by Alison Balsom and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner, and by cellist Natalie Clein with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vernon Handley.

Julian Milone’s work has appeared on the recent Australian documentary, 4, based on Vivaldi’s
The Four Seasons and at the wedding of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker-Bowles, for which
he arranged the music.

His works have also been performed at US festivals by Gil Shaham and Cho-Liang Lin,
in Amsterdam and Cape Town by Ivry Gitlis and Daniel Rowland and by Janine Jansen at her festival in Dubrovnik.


!-- END FOOTER------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>