Sarah Plum, violin
Music Institute of Chicago

Sarah Plum has dedicated her career to the proposition that a musician should be actively engaged with the music of our own time as well as that of the past.  She also strongly believes that teaching young musicians enriches her own playing and is central to her musical life.


Plum began her performing career by winning the first prize at the International Stulberg Competition in 1984.  Since then she has been sought after by orchestras and fellow musicians in the US and Europe as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician for concerts of both traditional and contemporary repertoire.   


Soon after receiving her DMA Plum moved to Europe where she worked as an orchestra musician and performer in new music ensembles.  She had the good fortune to perform, record and tour with some of the top conductors and soloists performing today at important venues and festivals throughout Europe, Asia and South America.  As a new music specialist she took part in historic first performances of composers such as Salvatore Sciarrino, Toshio Hosakowa and Brian Ferneyhough at festivals such as Ars Musica, Festival d’Automne and the Luzern Festival among others.


Currently Plum is in demand as a performer of solo and chamber music with an emphasis on long-term collaborations with composers.   She recently released a CD entitled Absconditus, which contains music for violin by composer Sidney Corbett.  All but one piece are world premiere recordings and the title piece Absconditus was written for Plum.  This CD has been called “flinty and stark yet atmospheric” by music web, “ a gem” by the American Record Guide and Gramophone Magazine said that "Sarah Plum plays with a wealth of colour and a surprising range of sounds".  


Sarah continues to collaborate with noted composers.  Currently Christopher Adler, Mari Kimura, Charles Nichols, Jeff Herriot and Sidney Corbett are all writing pieces for her.  These projects will result in premieres throughout 2013 and 14.


Recently Plum has been invited to perform a solo program of music for violin alone and with electronics at the Ankunft: Neue Musik series in Berlin, Germany and The Firehouse Space in New York among other venues. In October, Plum performed a similar program at the Unruly Music Festival in Milwaukee, which was critically praised as  “consistently stunning with works that demanded conventional virtuosity but also great skill in unconventional techniques”.  Other recent concerts include a tour of the twin cities as soloist for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Drake University String Ensemble and critically acclaimed performances at the Interharmony International Festival in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany.


Sarah has been heard in numerous TV and radio broadcasts on the WDR, NDR, Deutsche Welle, BBC and Iowa Public Radio.  She has recorded on the Bluegriffin, Bridge, BMG, Albany, Arte Nova and Capriccio labels.  Currently she has a CD in production of the music of Bartok for violin with pianist Timothy Lovelace that will be released on the Bluegriffin label.


Sarah is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she received a BM and MM and SUNY Stony Brook where she received a DMA.  Her major teachers were Joyce Robbins, Szymon Goldberg, Dorothy Delay, David Cerone and Lyman Bodman.