Merit School of Music

Nathan Sonnenfeld

Faculty: Violin and Viola


Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Roosevelt University, MM, Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, MM, String Pedagogy
Montclair State University, BM
School for Strings, Suzuki Certification


Born and raised in New York and based in Chicago since 2020, Nathan Sonnenfeld began playing the violin at the age of five using the Suzuki Method. He is currently studying violin with David Taylor, Assistant Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony. His primary violin teachers have been Mary Ann Mumm, Jay Christy, Liba Shacht, Shannon Thomas, Gabriel Pegis, and Diane Duraffourg Robinson. He has played in masterclasses and lessons for Ida Kavafian, Weigang Li, Joseph Silverstein, Joel Smirnoff, and Madeline Adkins. His primary Suzuki teacher trainers were Allen Lieb and Ann Montzka-Smelzer and he did additional studies with Edward Kreitman and Linda Case.

As a performer, Nathan was Assistant Principal 2nd Violin of the University Community Orchestra at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and has been a member of the New York Repertory Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of Montclair, and the Symphony Orchestras of Montclair State University, Chicago College of the Performing Arts, and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. He has played under the direction of some of the most esteemed and respected conductors in the world, including Gerard Schwarz, Ken Lam, Sebastian Lang Lessing, Rune Bergmann, Mark Gibson, JoAnn Falletta, Tito Munoz, Steven Reineke, and Keith Lockhart. He has performed in some of the most prominent concert halls in the world, including Carnegie Hall and David Geffen Hall (then Avery Fischer Hall) at Lincoln Center in New York, Symphony Center and Auditorium Theater in Chicago, the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University in New Jersey, the Adrienne Arsht Center Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami, Florida and the Cathedral Metropolitina in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the summers, Nathan has participated in the Brevard Music Center, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Miami Music Festival and Eastern Music Festival.

Active as a teacher in the Chicago area, he is on the faculty for the Merit School of Music, teaching both private lessons and group classes. He previously taught for Montclair’s Preparatory Center for the Arts and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, worked for the New York Philharmonic, the Paterson Music Project, Kaufman Music Center, and Tarisio Auctions.

In his spare time, Nathan enjoys reading, watching tv and rooting for the New York Yankees.

Favorite Musicians:

Andre Rieu, Sir Georg Solti, Leonard Bernstein, Itzhak Perlman, Chicago Symphony Orchestra