Sonja Wermager

PhD Student in Historical Musicology

Sonja Wermager is a PhD Candidate in Historical Musicology. Her research focuses on intersections of religion and music in nineteenth-century Germany. She is currently finishing her dissertation, "Robert Schumann and 'The Artist's Highest Goal:' Religion, Romanticism, and Nation in the Late Choral Works," which is supervised by Walter Frisch. 

Articles based on her dissertation research have appeared recently in 19th-Century Music and Sacred and Secular Intersections in Music of the Long Nineteenth CenturyShe also maintains interests in Reformation studies and has published on sixteenth-century psalmody in the Yale Journal of Music & Religion.

During the 2022-23 academic year, she is a dissertation fellow with Columbia’s Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life while also teaching Literature Humanities as part of Columbia's Core Curriculum. She has also taught Music Humanities, for which she received the 2020 Core Preceptor Award for Teaching Excellence

A recipient of Columbia's GSAS Barker Fellowship and the Baier Fellowship for Church Music, she also serves on the editorial board of Current Musicology and supports graduate instructor pedagogy initiatives through the Center for Teaching and Learning, this year as a Teaching Observation Fellow.

Prior to doctoral studies at Columbia, Sonja completed a B.A. in Music and History at St. Olaf College and a M.A. in Renaissance, Reformation, and Early Modern Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK), where she received the U.S. Postgraduate Student Scholarship and graduated with distinction. She also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer working with high school seniors on college access and affordability.