Sarah received her Master’s of Music and Advanced Postgraduate Diploma from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland while studying with Andrea Gajic and her Bachelor’s of Music (high honours) in violin performance and educational studies under the tutelage of Wen Lei-Gu from Lawrence University.
Sarah Wagner’s interest in bringing theatricality to classical music has led her to perform in an exciting array of locations ranging from the Palace of Auburn Hills alongside Eminem in Detroit, Michigan to underneath motorway bridges in Glasgow, Scotland to the throne room of Buckingham Palace.
As a soloist, Sarah worked closely with the Glasgow-based organization After the Pandemic to create a wholly original performance piece known as Under the Bridge. This project combined her performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with street art beneath the Kingston Bridge and was created in collaboration with design collective Lateral North and street art initiative Colour Ways Glasgow. The filmed performance of “Summer” was featured in the Scotsman, the Sunday Post, and on BBC Radio Scotland. Under the Bridge culminated in a live performance of The Four Seasons to a sold out audience at Glasgow Cathedral during the United Nations COP26 conference in Glasgow.
Sarah works primarily in the theatre, having performed across Scotland, the United States, Germany, and Italy in over 50 productions ranging from classical opera to contemporary musical theatre. While a postgraduate student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Sarah was awarded the John McInulty Prize in 2020 as recognition for this growing body of work. Her RCS productions include leader for Rape of Lucretia, Dido and Aeneas, Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and Gianni Schicchi and as principal second violin for the UK staged premiere of Dead Man Walking.
Sarah’s international performances include principal second violin with the 2019 Berlin Opera Company as well as violinist with Melofonetica’s 2019 Arte Lirica Festival in Asolo, Italy. Prior to moving to Scotland, Sarah regularly performed with The Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter, Michigan including as part of the Wilde Award nominated West Side Story and the developmental premiere of new musical Into the Wild. Sarah credits her love of theatrical work to three summers spent with the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Massachusetts with whom she performed 27 fully staged productions.
Sarah’s work as a recitalist focuses on the narrative aspects of instrumental music and using classical music to tell contemporary stories. Sarah is particularly interested in the relationship between music and text and frequently incorporates original poetry into her programs. She has written poems to accompany her performances of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 10, Copland’s Ukulele Serenade, Brahms’ Sonata No. 1, and Bach’s Sonata No. 2 in A minor. By juxtaposing new texts against standard works, Sarah hopes to create a dialogue between the performer and audience and inspire a more personal approach to classical music.