Sonja Leutwyler was born in Zürich. She studied viola and voice at the Zurich University
of the Arts and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich with Maria
Cavazza, Christian Gerhaher and Helmut Deutsch. While studying, she sang roles at
the Prinzregenten Theatre Munich including Sesto, Larina and Dorabella.
Sonja Leutwyler was awarded a scholarship by the Richard Wagner Society.
She has absolute pitch, and a remarkable three-octave range.
She was employed as a soloist at the State Theatre on Gärtnerplatz München where
she sang roles including Cherubino, 2nd Lady, Mercedes, Hänsel and Suzuki. Further
engagements took her to the Margravial Opera House Bayreuth (Princess Galsuinde/
Fredegunda), the Cuvilliés Theatre Munich (Cherubino) and the Teatro Comunale di
Bologna (Il canto sospeso). At the Zürich Opera House, she sang in Stravinsky’s The
Nightingale (Maid/ Death) in a production for children in 2017, and was engaged for
the following season as Idamante/ Idomeneo in another production for children.
She recently sang a leading role in the opera “Kein Licht” by Philippe Manoury in
an Opéra-Comique Paris production, and then gave guest appearances with the production
at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb and at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg.
As a concert soloist, Sonja Leutwyler has performed with renowned orchestras such
as the Bamberg Symphony, the Munich Radio Orchestra conducted by Ulf Schirmer, the
Zurich and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Helmut Rilling. She is a welcome guest at major festivals such as the
Richard Strauss Festival Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,
the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the Musikfest Stuttgart, as well as the St. Martin-in-the-Fields
concert series London. She performs regularly in the Tonhalle Zürich and in the Vienna
Konzerthaus. Furthermore, the mezzosoprano is collaborating on an ongoing basis with
musicians from the Vienna Philharmonic.
As a versatile singer, Sonja Leutwyler is also much in demand for her interpretations
of contemporary works. She performed at the Prinzregenten Theatre Munich with the
Munich Radio Orchestra in one of the main roles (Stella) in Elliot Carter’s opera
“What Next“. With the RSO Vienna she sang in the opening concert of the “Wien Modern”
series conducted by Cornelius Meister, and she took part in a concert tour of Italy
with works by Luigi Nono conducted by Roberto Abbado. The widow of the composer Ernst
Krenek invited Sonja Leutwyler to sing works by her husband together with musicians
from the Vienna Philharmonic on a US concert tour. She recently performed Berio’s
“Folksongs” in a number of concert halls in Switzerland with great success.
High points of the past three years include Mendelssohn’s Walpurgisnacht at the Rheingau
Musik Festival conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada with the hr-Sinfonieorchester,
concerts and a CD recording with the RSO Vienna in the Viennese Konzerthaus, a solo
evening with arias by Haydn and Vivaldi with the Camerata Zürich in the Tonhalle
Zürich, J.S. Bach’s St John Passion with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra in Tromsø,
C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra conducted by Diego Fasolis,
and a Lieder recital in the Tonhalle Maag Zürich.
In July 2018, her CD Hymne à la beauté was released by Solo Musica and it received
the Pizzicato Supersonic Award.