Sonora Slocum was appointed Principal Flute of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2012 at the age of 22. “Slocum’s solo work continues to impress. She plays with a clean, well-tuned sound, easily floating through the hall…always creating graceful phrases.” (Rick Walters, Shepherd Express).
Slocum has performed with orchestras around the country including guest principal flute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; She has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra on flute and piccolo. Her collaborations as guest principal include touring and audio recordings with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as well as visual recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York at Lincoln Center. Slocum has worked under such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Simon Rattle, Edo de Waart, Otto-Werner Mueller, John Williams and David Zinman, among many others.
Sonora Slocum’s performances of Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Johnson City Symphony earned her critical acclaim. “Slocum takes in vast quantities of air and spins it into gold. Hers is a dynamic range that whispers clearly and coherently and grows without tearing at the edges. Slocum has a HUGE sound…and a wizard’s bag resplendent with technical prowess and musical freshness. Slocum played with full-blooded intensity, convincing artistry, and astonishingly, she did it from memory.” (William Barnewitz, Urban Milwaukee). Slocum also earned enthusiastic praise for her performance of J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. “The MSO’s principal flutist played Bach’s substantial solo part from memory and with great insight. Slocum’s extraordinarily detailed and thoughtful articulation revealed the character of the various dances–” (Tom Strini Writes).
Sonora spends her summers performing at a variety of prestigious Music Festivals including the Lincoln Center Festival, Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Twickenham Fest, founded by soprano Susanna Phillips, and the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minnesota. Sonora performs regularly with the chamber music series It’s Frankly Music, led by MSO Concertmaster Frank Almond and has collaborated with the contemporary group eighth blackbird.
Born into a musical family, Slocum grew up in New York City where she attended The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Divisions. Slocum holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and Master’s Degree in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She attended the Music Academy of the West, as well as the Aspen and Pacific Music Festivals. Slocum studied with principal flutists Jeffrey Khaner, Robert Langevin, and Bart Feller, among many others.