Sophie Dunér biography

“It’s not fusion – it’s Dúneresque – a newly created genre!” Michael Haas, Recording Producer

Sophie Dunér is a singer, songwriter, composer and visual artist. Originally from Sweden, she travels and performs internationally as her blend of jazz, world music and contemporary classical writing receives demand worldwide – from the infamous CBGB´s in New York City to Buenos Aires Festival de Música Contemporánea de La Plata to Festival O/Modernt in Sweden. Her wild, risky, passionate and exhilarating music for vocals and string quartet as well as for cello is exemplified in her two most recent albums: The City of My Soul, produced by Michael Haas (PARMA Recordings 2013) and The City of Dizzy (CD Baby 2016). The City of My Soul became PARMA’s biggest selling disc for download sales in February 2015. In 2019, it was recently featured on PARMAs “Visionary String Quartets” Spotify playlist. David Balakrishnan (violinist and founder of Turtle Island String Quartet) has said about Sophie and her music: “She is a seriously talented singer, and nicely set in string quartet, really beautiful original material.”

The CD Eclectic Songs was recorded with Gene Pritsker in NYC December 2018, for upcoming release on Composers Concordance Records. Previous CDs include The Rain in Spain feat. Rory Stuart, Matt Penmann & Kahlil Qwame Bell (CIMP). Sophie has also an upcoming, pending CD release of her collaboration together with the legendary jazz bassist Dominic Duval (former member of Cecil Taylor´s band).

The music of Sophie may be described as a blend of the romantic and the spiritually elevated with a dissonant, bold and satirical edge. It plays with tense colours resolving into romantic harmony or vice versa. This applies to the music as well as the lyrics, which are mostly tragicomic. With her musical roots in jazz, Sophie has developed in a direction mainly created by herself or, as producer Michael Haas has it: “It’s not fusion – it’s Dúneresque – a newly created genre!” However, you may find a rich blend of influences from jazz, contemporary classical and world music. Sophie personally draws heavily on a variety of composers such as Weill, Monk, Mingus, Henze and Stravinsky.

Sophie’s music has been featured in the Madrid based theatre play Hora de Salida during several seasons. Other festival engagements include the Bimbache Open Art Festival, PARMA Music Festival, Jazz en La Costa, Getxo Jazz Festival, Stockholm Jazz Festival, Baltic Jazz Festival, Festival de Jazz de Lugo, Festival de Mayo, Sapporo Snow Festival, Stockholm New Music Festival etc.

Sophie’s art is featured in the art almanac “A Journey Through The Senses” by curator Christer Botéus, alongside the work of 13 other European artists. A copy of The City of my Soul CD is included with every copy.

Previous tours have included dates in New York, Boston, Buenos Aires, Spain and Puerto Rico, venues including The ShapeShifter Lab, Cornelia St Cafe, Symphony Space, The LilyPad, Smalls, Kostabi World Uptown, SOWIESO Neukolln, Moods Jazz Club, The Pizza Express Jazz Club, Circulo de Bellas Artes etc. Her style has evolved through collaborations with many musicians from around the world, including Gene Pritsker, Rory Stuart, Guy Livingston, Jürg Wickihalder, Steve Hamilton, Paul Clarvis, Martin France, Mark Kostabi, Jose Luis Greco, Bertram Lehmann, Matt Pennmann, Dominic Duval, Sébastien Dubé, Hugo Ticciati, O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra, Kahlil Kwame Bell, Torsten de Winkel, Agustín Gerenu and Francis Schwartz to name a few.

At the recommendation of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sophie studied vocal interpretation at the Stockhausen summer Courses in Kuerten, Germany for two years during which time she was supported by The Swedish Arts Council. She also studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston where she earned a degree in Performance, studying improvisation with Hal Crook, George Garzone and Ed Tomassi..

During her time in Boston, she performed at CBGBs in NYC, with Herb Pomeroy’s Big Band in Boston and recorded & collaborated with Guillermo Klein & The Big Van at Small’s Jazz Club in NYC alongside Sten Höstfält, Seamus Blake, Mark Turner & Aaron Goldberg. She recorded in NY with Fernando Tarrés, Fernando Huergo & Don McCaslin. She also founded The Sophie Dunér Orchestra.

The Swedish Arts Council has awarded Sophie grants on four occasions.

During spring 2018, Sophie was featured as a female composer in the video series DONNE created by BBC 100s Gabi DiLaccio. In September 2018, her piece  “Pey Vav Yud” was performed and premiered in the multi-media concert/event produced by Composers Concordance – Chorus 72 – with projected art by Rainer Gross and Mark Kostabi – for The New Music Series at William Paterson University Shea Center for Performing Arts – Shea Auditorium (N.J, US) During fall 2018, She recently recorded the piece “Checkmate My Love” composed for her by the Madrid based Spanish/American contemporary composer José Luis Greco, to be premiered in Madrid. During winter 2018/19, Sophie completed a tour in NYC and Berlin that included appearances and collabs together with composer Gene Pritsker, EMX, Mark Kostabi, Seth Boustead and Guy Livingston, among others. This included a video shoot with Gene Pritsker of her jazz /metal tune The Express Train at Grand Central Station and the video “Making Money Money in Berlin” with pianist Guy Livingston. During her NYC tour, she also gave an interview and performed at BOLD TV together with percussionist Noah Lehrmann as well as participating in the video anthology about women composers, Nevertheless She Composed, for upcoming release in fall 2019. Coming up in 2020, Sophie is featured guest composer/singer for the annual chamber concerts event “In The Avant Garden of Love” with Present Music in Milwaukee. She is also featured in the upcoming Composers Concordance 2019/2020 season.