Pianist Sarah Beth Briggs – an artist of extraordinary magnetism (Michael Kennedy, Daily Telegraph) – is a leading recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician. A long-standing pupil of the late Denis Matthews, she gained a Hindemith Scholarship to study chamber music in Switzerland with celebrated violist, Bruno Giuranna, and remained in Lausanne for further studies with renowned Arrau pupil, Chilean pianist Edith Fischer.
Her professional career was launched at the age of eleven when she became the then youngest-ever finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year and a recipient of a Dame Myra Hess Award. Four years later she gained international recognition as joint winner of the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg.
Sarah’s musical interpretations have been broadcast internationally on radio and television, while recital and concerto performances have taken her to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and the USA. UK orchestral collaborations include concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Hallé, London Mozart Players, London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Concert Orchestra. She has been the featured soloist at major British venues including Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, London’s South Bank Centre, and the Barbican Centre.
Sarah is a celebrated artist at societies and festivals throughout the UK, acclaimed by promoters and critics for her performances and for her engaging and informative introductions to recital programmes.
She gave the world premiere (at the Chester Festival) of Britten’s Three Character Pieces, which feature on one of her warmly-reviewed releases for Semaphore. Her solo discography to date also includes music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, Bartók, Hans Gál and Rawsthorne. Her first concerto disc on the AVIE label (a Gramophone Critics’ Choice in 2016) features the world premiere of Hans Gál’s Piano Concerto coupled with Mozart Concerto K482 with the Royal Northern Sinfonia conducted by Kenneth Woods. The latest solo recording in her discography (again on the AVIE label) is Variations – released in 2023.
Sarah balances a successful solo career with numerous chamber music engagements and has worked with many renowned soloists over the years including the late soprano Kathryn Harries, clarinettist Janet Hilton, ex Lindsay violist Robin Ireland and bassoonist Laurence Perkins. Her most regular current partnerships are with violinist David Juritz and as part of the Briggs Piano Trio (in which Sarah and David are joined by cellist, Kenneth Woods) as well as a four hands piano duo with James Lisney. She has also enjoyed collaborations with the Emperor and Carducci String Quartets.
Her chamber music recordings include an acclaimed Hans Gál CD on the Toccata label with Hungarian violinist, Katalin Kertész and her ensemble and a Gramophone Editor’s Choice recording of Gál and Shostakovich Piano Trios with the Briggs Piano Trio on AVIE.
Sarah taught keyboard for many years at the University of York. She gives regular masterclasses and chamber music tuition in the UK and has also taught in Switzerland and the USA. Away from the concert platform, she loves the theatre, good food and wine and walking in the countryside with her cocker spaniels.