Sarah Beth Briggs
Pianist Sarah Beth Briggs – an artist of extraordinary magnetism (Daily Telegraph) – is a leading recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician. A long-standing pupil of the late Denis Matthews, she gained a Hindemith Scholarship to study chamber music in Switzerland with celebrated violist, Bruno Giuranna, and remained in Lausanne for further studies with renowned Arrau pupil, Chilean pianist Edith Fischer.
Her professional career was launched at the age of eleven when she became (at that time) the youngest-ever finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Four years later she gained international recognition as joint winner of the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg.
Sarah’s classical concerto interpretations have led to appearances in many countries, including prestigious engagements with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and a series of concerts at San Francisco’s Midsummer Mozart Festival.
UK orchestral collaborations include concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, London Mozart Players, London Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Northern Sinfonia. She has been the featured soloist at major British venues including Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, London’s South Bank auditoria, and the Barbican Centre.
Renowned not only for her performances but also for engaging and informative introductions to recital programmes, Sarah is a popular artist at societies and festivals throughout the UK and has been acclaimed by promoters and critics. Her musical interpretations have been broadcast internationally on radio and television, while recital work has taken her to Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and the USA.
She gave the world premiere (at the Chester Festival) of Britten’s Three Character Pieces, which feature on one of her warmly reviewed releases for Semaphore. Sarah has released five CDs to date including music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Bartok and Rawsthorne. Her most recent disc was released in December 2014.
Sarah enjoys balancing a successful solo career with numerous chamber music engagements and has worked with many acclaimed soloists. In addition to her longstanding duo partnership with clarinettist Janet Hilton, she and Janet also join forces in two highly successful trios. Clarion3 features the unusual combination of clarinet, bassoon and piano (with Laurence Perkins) whilst the more orthodox but splendidly balanced Anton Stadler Trio sees them combining with Robin Ireland (perhaps best known as violist of the Lindsay Quartet).
She has also been the pianist in Trio Melzi (which now sees her joined by former Manchester Camerata leader Richard Howarth and cellist Hannah Roberts) since its formation in 2000. Her most recent venture is a piano duet partnership with James Lisney. As a chamber musician, Sarah has featured on BBC2 and Radio 3.
Sarah taught keyboard for many years at the University of York. She gives regular masterclasses and chamber music tuition in the UK and has also taught in Switzerland and the USA. Away from the concert platform, she loves the theatre, good food and wine and walking in the countryside with her cocker spaniel.