Sonny was a theatrical lighting salesman, a teacher, an author, and a practitioner. Sonny was the New York City sales manager for Century Lighting (now Strand), a partner in Lighting & Electronics, and a sales representative for Colortran, ETC, Wybron, and again at Strand. Sonny founded the Broadway Lighting Master Classes. Sonny taught architectural lighting at the Pratt Institute and anchored the studio lighting chapter of the 5th Edition of the NAB Engineering Handbook.
Sonny authored many articles on theatre lighting, including “Dimmer per Circuit” and “Moving Lights, Has Their Time Come?” He was chairperson of the IESNA Theatre Lighting sub committee and he created the Broadway Lighting Master Classes, which attracted over 150 students from all over the world.
Sonny interfaced, on a regular basis, with theatre consultants, Broadway lighting designers, architects, consulting engineers, and architectural lighting designers. He has contributed to the professional development of many of today’s leading architectural lighting designers. He enjoyed creating the lighting designs for many non-professional shows.
Sonny was the recipient of many lighting awards, including the DLF Honors Award, a USITT Fellows Award, Architectural Lighting Magazine’s Living Legend Award, a Wally Russell Award, and LDI’s A Life in Light Award, among others. Just before his passing, Sonny received the Lighting Design & Technology Distinguished Achievement Award from USITT for 2016.
Philips-Strand Lighting is sponsoring the Sonny Sonnenfeld Memorial Scholarship. Click here to apply