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 continued her studies there with renowned Arrau pupil, Chilean pianist Edith Fischer.
Her professional career was launched at the age of eleven when she became the then youngest-ever finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year and a recipient of a Dame Myra Hess Award. At fifteen she gained international recognition as joint winner of the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg.
Sarah has been broadcast internationally on radio and television and recital and concerto performances have taken her to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and the USA. UK orchestral collaborations have included concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Hallé, London Mozart Players, London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Concert Orchestra. Prestigious UK venues at which she has performed include Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and London’s South Bank and Barbican Centres.
Sarah is a celebrated artist at societies and festivals throughout the UK, acclaimed by promoters and critics for her performances and for her engaging and informative introductions.
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. Her discography also includes music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy, Bartók and Rawsthorne. Her first concerto disc on AVIE (a Gramophone Critics’ Choice in 2016) features the world premiere of Hans Gál’s Piano Concerto coupled with Mozart Concerto K482 with the Royal Northern Sinfonia conducted by Kenneth Woods. Her subsequent 2019 AVIE solo release was a disc of Schumann and late Brahms, awarded 5 stars by International Piano Magazine, which described it as ’81 minutes of pianistic Heaven’.
Her first chamber CD was released in April 2018 on Toccata Classics, featuring Gál’s Piano Quartet and Violin and Piano Sonatinas with Hungarian violinist, Katalin Kertész and her ensemble. She followed this with a disc of Gál and Shostakovich Piano Trios for AVIE with her new Briggs Piano Trio (with David Juritz and Kenneth Woods.) It was awarded a Gramophone Editor’s Choice in October 2018 and MusicWeb International Recording of the Month in November 2018.
Sarah also has a longstanding duo partnership with clarinettist Janet Hilton and they are joined by violist Robin Ireland in the Anton Stadler Trio and by bassoonist Laurence Perkins in Clarion3. James Lisney is her piano duet partner, while her latest chamber music venture is a violin and piano duo with David Juritz.
Sarah taught keyboard for many years at York University. She gives masterclasses and chamber music tuition in the UK and has taught in Switzerland and the USA.
Away from the concert platform, she loves the theatre, good food and wine and walking her Cocker Spaniels.