Sonja Tengblad

Music Performance Faculty in Voice


My students will experience a holistic approach to singing, rooted in sound pedagogy, artistic passion, and above all, compassion.

While my performing credits run the gamut from medieval music to modern opera, much of my career lies within my main interests: baroque and contemporary repertoire. Recent solo performances of opera and concert repertoire include Shostakovich Symphony 14 with A Far Cry, Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, many operatic appearances with Boston Baroque (including Grammy-nominated Monteverdi recording), the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Philharmonic, A Far Cry, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Blue Hill Bach Festival (ME), Victoria Bach Festival (TX), Bach Roots (MN), Oregon Bach Festival, and my Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts, both with the New York City Chamber Orchestra.

I love the versatility and flexibility that's required of singers in modern music, so a large portion of my performing lies in this field. Beat Song is an ongoing recital project of mine that explores humanity's first instruments: percussion and the voice (more information on my website). A favorite project of mine was premiering Shirish Korde's Questions for the Moon in 2015 with members of the Silk Road Ensemble. My work with the Lorelei Ensemble, Boston's 8-voice professional women's ensemble, has been most rewarding; we have commissioned over 50 new works for women's voices, and have performed a lot of medieval and renaissance repertoire originally written for and sung by men. We are premiering Julia Wolfe's Her Story this year with Nashville Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, and with the Boston Symphony with whom we frequently collaborate.

Art song - the cornerstone of any singer’s studies - is a genre of which I care about deeply. In 2015, I curated Modern Dickinson, a program featuring all 21st century settings of Emily Dickinson's poetry that was named the #3 Best Arts Event in Austin, TX 2015 and was nominated for 4 Austin Critic's Table Awards ( I have an ongoing project with Boston's art song organization Calliope's Call entitled In Her Words which explores female composers setting female poets, and in 2014 I was awarded 2nd place in the American Prize Art Song and Oratorio division.

I fell in love with music through ensemble singing, and I still do a lot of it. Besides my work with Lorelei, I sing with the Grammy-award winning ensemble Conspirare - mostly touring Considering Matthew Shepard - and Boston's Emmanuel Music and Blue Heron.

In addition to my musical life, I am an avid climate and environmental justice activist. I founded and coordinate the East Boston chapter of Mothers Out Front through which I run an air quality campaign. I'm frequently speaking with legislators, coordinating grant projects, and learning a lot as I go!

Finally, I founded Beyond Artists in 2019, a consortium of artists who pledge a portion of their concert fees to nonprofits they care about, and to advertise those organizations in their public bios.

I live with my husband Jonathan Hess (percussionist) and son Soren.