Sarah Ash - Violinist

Biography -

Sarah Ash plays the piano, Cello, and viola, but her principle instrument is the violin, on which she passed her A.B.R.S.M Performance Diploma in 2005, and her A.B.R.S.M Teaching Diploma in 2008.  After completing her Under Graduate degree at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on a four year full scholarship, she then undertook a MA in Music Performance, funded both years by bursaries from EMI Sound Music Foundation, which she graduated from in July 2011.  Whilst there, she studied violin under Christopher Horner, and David Adams.


Before she entered the RWCMD Sarah was part of a selected ensemble who played in the BBC Proms (2005), she reached the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth twice, and gave several recitals including performing Vivaldis Spring concerto. During this time, she was also the leader of the Taunton String Quartet,who were highly sought after, and were asked to play at the launch of the Queen Mary 2.  As a quartet they also won Silver in the 2004 Keyskills Chamber Music award, and received a masterclass with the Allegri string quartet.  


Sarah is a keen orchestral player, and has played within many ensembles.   In 2006 Sarah was invited to play in the National Youth String Academy, and in summer 2007 they performed in the Walton Festival.  Whilst there, she led the orchestra under Sir Neville Mariner.


Whilst at R.W.C.M.D she played in and led the Symphony Orchestra, String Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, and Concertanti Strings.  In 2010 she also auditioned and won a place on the prestigious Welsh National Opera placement scheme, gaining the 1st Violin placement.  She has also worked with BBCSSO conductor Jessica Cottis in Bloomsbury Opera (2009), and the Ashover Festival (2009, 2010).  As well as Ms Cottis, Sarah has also worked with Lothar Koenigs, Maxim Vengerov, Paul Daniels, Levon Parikian, Andrea Licata, and the late Sir Charles Mackerras.  She also has extensive experience working as a pit musician, and has led productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hello Again (RWCMD Productions), My Fair Lady, Oliver, and played 1st violin in Guys and Dolls, and Joseph and the Technicoloured Dreamcoat.  

She also has a keen interest in period playing and stylistic awareness, and played in the Classical and Baroque Orchestra for 2 years, on baroque violin.


Chamber Music is also very important to Sarah, and she played with the Sonorous Piano Trio (2006-2011), with which she has played many concerts (including a recital tour in 2010), and she also led the Platnauer String Quartet (2009-2011) which plays frequently across Wales. She now plays in the Indy Quartet in Sydney.


Whilst at the RWCMD she has received masterclasses from several violinists, including Lesley Hatfield, Bohumil Smejkal, Matthew Jones, Boris Garlitsky, and Petras Kunsa.  Whilst in her 3rd year of study she also won the Paganini Prize (2008), for her performance of solo memorised Paganini Caprices.

Other competitions Sarah has participated in include the Music at Beaulieu award, within which she successfully won a place in the finals several times for outstanding musicianship, after which she was invited back to play in 3 Gala Concerts.


After graduating in 2011 Sarah made the decision to leave the UK and moved to Sydney to participate in auditions for the Australian Chamber Orchestra Emering Artist Program.

Since moving here 6 years ago Sarah has settled and has enjoys a portfolio career of both performing and teaching both in schools, and with her own studio 'Sarah's Music Studio'.  Her students have achieved much success in their playing and examinations, and several have gone onto study music at Tertiary levels at university and at Music Conservatoriums.  Sarah is currently teaching within the prestigious music department at  Trinity Grammar School,  Methodist Ladies College (MLC), Bourke St school, and Orange Grove.


She has also enjoyed a wide variety of regular performances at venues including the Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall, Enmore Theatre, The Concourse, The Independant Theatre, Verbruggen Hall, Eugene Goossens hall (ABC), and Sydney Town Hall.

Sarah has performed a wide variety of music, from Classical Orchestral, Opera and Ballet music concerts and tours, to playing for more commercial events including David Attenbouroghs Blue Planet and Planet Earth shows as well as Video Games Live.  Highlights of her time in Sydney include performing within the Orchestra for the English National Ballet Orchestral tour, performing as a soloist for Vivadi's 4 seasons, several recording sessions at Trackdown Studios, and Principal 2nd Violin for the Dr Who Symphonic Spectacular.


This year Sarah is looking forward to several upcoming peformances, including Brahms' requiem, Scheheazade, and Rachmaninov's 3rd piano concerto.