Sonia Jacobsen


Sonia Jacobsen’s compositions have received numerous awards and prizes, namely from IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), ASCAP, American Music Center, American Composers Forum, American Scandinavian Society, Danish Foreign Ministry/Cultural Affairs, and L'Orchestre National de Jazz, France.

Her music has been performed by orchestras such as Naples Philharmonic (FL), Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (Germany), Philharmonia Virtuosi (NY), German-American Chamber Orchestra (NY), L'Orchestre National de Jazz (France), New Juilliard Ensemble (NY), Royal Australian Air Force Band (Australia), and Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra (LA).

Sonia's childhood was split between Australia and Denmark. Her music studies took place in France and New York. From 1987-92 she studied musicology and jazz saxophone at Grenoble University and Chambéry Conservatory.  From 1992-1996 she studied jazz saxophone at The New School University in NY.

After teaching from 1996-2006 at the New School For Jazz, she taught at the School of Music at the University of South Carolina from 2006-2015.

Sonia has been music director of a number of ensembles ranging from string quartet to jazz ensembles and big band to large orchestra. She is founder and artistic director of the New York Symphonic Jazz Orchestra.

She has performed in a large variety of jazz, world music, and chamber music ensembles on saxophone. Her music has been performed in France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Australia, US, Canada, Cuba, Argentina, and Hong Kong.

Her interest in world music comes from a composer’s perspective – to gain a deeper understanding about musical elements from diverse geographic origins. Although not formally trained as an ethnomusicologist, this quest led to her teaching world music at the University of South Carolina with Latin music as her main area of expertize.

She strives for a synthesis between the classical and jazz worlds by bridging them with her experience in world music and contemporary rhythms.