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Musical World

Sarah Chang

  • Violinist


Sarah Chang: Among the esteemed conductors with whom she has worked are Daniel Barenboim, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson-Thomas, and David Zinman. Notable recital engagements have included her Carnegie Hall debut and performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Symphony Hall in Boston, the Barbican Centre in London, the Philharmonie in Berlin, as well as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

She has reached an even wider audience through her many television appearances, concert broadcasts, and best-selling recordings for EMI Classics. The remarkable accomplishments of her career were recognized in 1999 when she received the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the most prestigious awards given to instrumentalists. As a chamber musician, Ms. Chang has collaborated with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yefim Bronfman, Martha Argerich, Leif Ove Andsnes, Stephen Kovacevich, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Lars Vogt, and the late Isaac Stern. Highlights of Ms. Chang's 2006-07 season include a European tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Hans Graf and a North American tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Kurt Masur; appearances with the symphony orchestras of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Milwaukee and New Jersey, and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; as well as an extensive U.S. and European recital tour in the spring.

Recent highlights include appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony, London Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France with Kurt Masur, and Orpheus on a tour that included Carnegie Hall. She toured Europe with the London Symphony and Sir Colin Davis (in addition to appearances at the Barbican), the U.S. with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Hans Graf, the Canary Islands with l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with Marek Janowski, and the Far East with the English Chamber Orchestra. She also performed in Berlin, Dresden, St. Petersburg, and Vienna. In the 04–05 season, Ms. Chang performed with the orchestras of Cincinnati, Dallas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Toronto among others. Other notable engagements in 2004-05 included performances in Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Israel, as well as appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, plus a chamber music tour of Europe with members of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Ms. Chang records exclusively for EMI Classics. Her widely lauded recordings include “Fire and Ice,” an album of popular shorter works for violin and orchestra, with Placido Domingo conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, a disc of chamber music for strings (Dvorak’s Sextet and Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence”) with current and former members of the Berlin Philharmonic, a recording of the Dvorak Violin Concerto with the London Symphony and Sir Colin Davis along with the Dvorak Piano Quintet (with Leif Ove Andsnes, Alex Kerr, Georg Faust and Wolfram Christ), and a disc of French sonatas by Ravel, Saint-Saens and Franck in collaboration with pianist Lars Vogt. Her most recent release is a live recording of the Shostakovich and Prokofiev violin concerti with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle.

Born in Philadelphia to Korean parents, Sarah Chang began her violin studies at age 4 and promptly enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music, where she studied with the late Dorothy DeLay. Within a year she had already performed with several orchestras in the Philadelphia area. Her early auditions, at age 8, for Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti led to immediate engagements with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Chang has appeared on numerous television and radio programs throughout Europe, North America and the Far East. Along with Pete Sampras and Wynton Marsalis, she is a featured artist in Movado’s global advertising campaign “The Art of Time.” In 2005, Yale University dedicated a chair in Sprague Hall in Ms. Chang’s name. For the June 2004 Olympic games, she was given the honor of running with the Olympic Torch in New York, and that same month, became the youngest person ever to receive the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame award.

Also in 2004, Ms. Chang was awarded the Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana Prize in Sienna, Italy. She is a past recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Gramophone’s “Young Artist of the Year” award, Germany’s “Echo” Schallplattenpreis, “Newcomer of the Year” honors at the International Classical Music Awards in London, and Korea’s “Nan Pa” award.