Sonia Pauline Beker: Biography


Born in Brooklyn, New York, a mecca for Holocaust survivor Jewish immigrants, Sonia began studying piano at the age of six, taught by her mother, then by teachers in Manhattan, performing in several student recitals before the age of ten. She attended The Freshman Program at the Graduate Center of CUNY; SUNY at Buffalo, where she received her B.A.; and Nottingham University, England; then, as a graduate student, she attended the University of Kent at Canterbury; and The School for International Training at the Experiment in International Living in Vermont. She holds Master's Degrees in both literature and teaching, has taught English as a Second Language in Boston and Japan, and has also taught ESL at the School of Visual Arts and Hunter College in New York. Currently a resident of Brooklyn Heights, Sonia teaches high school ESL in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.


“Symphony on Fire: A Story of Music and Spiritual Resistance During the Holocaust,” Sonia Pauline Beker’s first book, tells the inspiring story of her parents, violinist Max Beker and pianist Fania Durmashkin-Beker. Both had been members of well-known Vilnius musician families who perished in the Holocaust. Her book inspired the powerful documentary film, “Creating Harmony: The Displaced Persons' Orchestra at St. Ottilien,” by Etoile International Productions.



Symphony on Fire - by Sonia Pauline Beker  Symphony on Fire - by Sonia Pauline Beker
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