2021 Summer Concert Series


Originally from Listowel, ON, and currently based in New York, NY, acclaimed violinist Sarah Pratt-Parsamian enjoys a diverse and exciting musical career.  She has been a prizewinner at the Jeunesses Musicales International Violin Competition, and Silver Medal winner in the Canadian National Music Competition.  At the age of 14 she made her solo debut with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra at the Guelph Spring Festival in Ontario, and since has performed as soloist with orchestras in Canada and the U.S., including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa.  Recently highlights include a riveting performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, (Stratford, ON).

An avid chamber musician and recital artist, Sarah has performed across Canada and the United States, including Stratford Summer Music Festival, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, the Arts and Letters Club, Heliconian Club (Toronto), the British Art Museum (New Haven, CT), Bargemusic (New York, NY), the Detroit Institute of Art (Detroit, MI), Clefworks (Montgomery, AB), and others.


Sarah is a temporary member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, having joined the company for the current season.  She also performs as a substitute with the New York Philharmonic, with whom she has traveled on tours across the United States, Europe and Asia.  She is a member of the New York City Opera Orchestra, a position she has held since 2006.  Sarah has appeared as guest concertmaster with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.  She has also performed as a substitute with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and at the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. She has appeared on Saturday Night Live with Beck, and can be heard on the soundtracks of the 2019 Oscar-winning film "Joker", as well as other major films including "The 100 Foot Journey" (2014), "Gemini Man" (2019), and "In the Heights" (2021)


In addition to her performance schedule, Sarah is a passionate educator; she believes strongly in sharing the knowledge and joy of music-making with the next generation.  She was a faculty member at Third Street Music School Settlement in NYC for over ten years, and director of the chamber music program at the school for the last two years.  She has been a violin instructor at the prestigious Brearley School in NY, and undergraduate TA at SUNY Stony Brook University School of Music.  During summers she has coached at Interprovincial Music Camp (Perry Sound, ON), and the Summer Chamber Festival at Third Street (NY).  Sarah currently instructs a studio of private violin students at her home in New York, two of whom are her own children!  Her students perform regularly on a series of community outreach concerts she organizes at retirement residences, recital spaces, and in parks across New York City.


Sarah holds a Bachelor in Performance Degree from the University of Toronto, Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma from Yale University, and Doctor of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook.  Her principal teachers have been David Zafer, Peter Oundjian, and Ani Kavafian.  Other teachers have included Pamela Frank, Pinchas Zukerman, Lorand Fenyves, members of the Brentano, Tokyo, Emerson, and St. Lawrence string quartets. 


When her violin is resting, Sarah can be found jogging on park trails, climbing trees with her children, hiking with her camera, or curled up on the couch with a good book and a glass of wine. 

Sarah Pratt-Parsamian, violin

Photo Credit:  Gary Moon

Sarah loves J.S. Bach, and J.S. Bach loves Sarah.  (She) played Bach beautifully.  Then she introduced her audience to some sumptuous composers and explored their ties to Bah and each other.  We heard far more than we expected to.  Then...more Bach revealed even more richness and complexity.  Thank you Sarah!

-- audience member, Tobermory, ON.

COVID-19 SAFETY: In order to ensure the safety of the concert events in 2021, I am performing solo for the entire concert series. I will be fully vaccinated against covid-19 before I come to the Bruce, and will complete a two-week quarantine upon arrival, before making any public appearances. (In future years, as pandemic restrictions ease, I'll be joined by friends and colleagues in performing chamber music.)