SARAH WHITNEY, violin
The violinist Sarah Whitney is celebrated as a performer, teacher, musicians coach, and musical maverick. Praised by The Washington Post for her “marvelous violin acrobatics,” Sarah has appeared on stages worldwide as a soloist and collaborative artist throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Comfortable in a wide range of settings and musical styles, she is fiercely dedicated to bringing fresh new ideas to classical music and empowering musicians to find their own voice.
Sarah is a founding member of the acclaimed string quintet SYBARITE5, which won the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in 2011 and continues to perform extensively around North America. Sarah has also performed with SYBARITE5 at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, the Aspen, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Grand Teton, and Ravinia Festivals, and on the CBS Early Show. Their latest album entitled Outliers reached No. 1 on the Billboard Charts, and they recently premiered Dan Visconti’s Beatbox: Concerto for String Quintet & Orchestra with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Midland Symphony Orchestra, and Duluth-Superior Orchestra.
Recognized as a pioneer in changing the perception of classical music and committing to building new audiences, in 2015, Sarah founded Beyond the Notes, an innovative concert series dedicated to breaking down the barriers between performers and the audience. The series is rooted in the Boston-area but has expanded in recent years to present performances throughout North America. She is also currently the Music Director for Lincoln Center Stage — an innovative partnership between Lincoln Center and the Holland-American Cruise Lines. This initiative organizes highly-coveted residencies for top young chamber musicians on board cruise ships elevating the performance level to that heard in leading concert halls.
Sarah’s writing is featured regularly in for Strings Magazine and 21CM.org. Her widely-read blog The Productive Musician focuses on health and wellness, productivity, and strategies for developing and maintaining an effective mindset. She has served on the New York State Presenters Network Panel in discussions about progressive programming and innovation.
Defying categorization and welcoming diverse collaborations, Sarah has collaborated with the Alvin Ailey and Jose Limon dance companies and has been featured on-stage with Adele, Ellie Goulding, the Transiberian Orchestra, Jeff Beck, Anne Murray, Andrew Wyatt, Tommy Lee, and with Father John Misty. Active as a recording artist, Sarah has performed on albums with Darlene Love, Josh Ritter, Stephen Kellogg, Mark Geary and Etienne Charles and can be heard on William Bolcom’s Grammy-winning album ‘The Songs of Innocence and Experience’. She has also collaborated with DJ Doug E. Fresh and opened for Jennifer Hudson and Diana Ross. She recently recorded together with the legendary clarinetist Richard Stoltzman.
Sarah also performs regularly in the Seeing Double Duo with violinist Julia Salerno, and the Trifecta Trio together with violist Angela Pickett and cellist Laura Metcalf. Sarah is co-founder of the Jingle Punks Hipster Orchestra that has been featured on Mashable, Perez Hilton, Revolt TV, as well as with the rapper NAS in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Guiding students with an especially collaborative teaching approach, Sarah works nationally with students of all levels. She has given guest master classes and entrepreneurial workshops at the Curtis Institute, New England Conservatory, DePauw University, University of Oklahoma, University of Arizona, Grinnell College, Ohio University, University of North Florida, the Walnut Hill School, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, among others, and has been guest artist-in-residence at Eastern Washington University. She has served on faculty at Music in Chappaqua, The Music School of New York City and the Walla Walla Suzuki Institute. She previously served as co-director of the Sato Center Outreach Group at the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies in Cleveland, and received Suzuki teacher training from the renowned pedagogue Kimberly Meier-Sims.
Currently based in New York City, Sarah holds degrees from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Additional studies include at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Music Academy of the West, and the Meadowmount School of Music. Her teachers included Paul Kantor, William Preucil, Kathleen Winkler, Aaron Berofsky, Cyrus Forough, Stephen Shipps and Irina Muresanu.
Sarah performs on violin made by J.B. Vuillaume in 1850.