What do you teach at the Con?
What genres do you teach?
What is it that you love about teaching music – particularly at Wollongong Conservatorium?
I love teaching at the Conservatorium due to its attractive surroundings for music study and performance. I am proud to be part of the learning and teaching community as it is a most upstanding, well established and hence important music establishment in Wollongong, providing quality music education and many opportunities for students to develop holistically. My aim is to develop piano technique, integrate music theory, encourage creativity, and foster a love of music in students of all ages and abilities in a safe learning environment. I love to see students grow and develop as musicians and I believe music plays an important part in unlocking self-expression, intelligence and creativity in every composer, performer and listener.
Please share a particular career highlight and why it’s special to you.
During COVID last year, I decided to bring my passion of composing to the forefront. I wrote and submitted works to Wirripang and on the 8th July 2020 I read this Facebook message: “Welcome to Wirripang ‘Sonia Sozio’. Sonia has brought three new works for varying ensembles as an introduction to a promising composing career.”
I am proud to be an Australian composer whose works are being published. I love to share my passion for composition with my students through immersing students in improvisation on the piano.
What’s one piece of music that you’d recommend people listen to?
Immerse yourself into L’Isle Joyeuse by Claude Debussy. One of my favourite composers among many others. This piece was inspired by Jean-Antoine Watteau’s 1717 painting titled ‘L’embarquement pour Cythère’ (‘The Embarkation for Cythera’). The painting depicts a happy group of revellers departing from the mythical island of Cythera in the Mediterranean, birthplace of Venus, the goddess of love. The central female figure in the painting looks back at the island with fondness. Debussy’s music captures the expectation and excitement of the Island, beginning with the opening soft trills which pause and then fall, winding around in a descending, chromatic spiral. Leaping thirds boldly interrupt, before a whole-tone scale moves the trills and spirals down an octave, and then the piece continues, calling us to the Island through its excitement, quiet mystery, pandemonium and brilliant fanfares. How can one refuse?