Michigan native 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 and has performed at festivals and venues such as Ars Musica Brussels, Cite de Musique, The Barbican, The Luzern Festival and Ankunft Neue Musik Berlin. Most recently, she has played chamber music concerts at the Festival de Musique “Zodiac” in the south of France as well as presented solo concerts of new music in Berlin, New York City and at Bard College.
In July Plum released two solo CDs on the Bluegriffin label: Bela Bartok Works For Violin Volume 1 (BGR 373) is the first of a projected two CD set with my longtime duo partner Timothy Lovelace and Music for a New Century (BGR 371) contains two 21st century concertos, one by Sidney Corbett that I premiered in the US and the other that I commissioned from Christopher Adler. Both CDs have received critical praise and wholenote magazine said “it is difficult to imagine better performances or a better flag bearer for these pieces than Sarah Plum who is quite brilliant here in this indispensable contribution to the contemporary violin concerto discography."
As a new music specialist, Plum has had the good fortune to take part in historic performances and premieres with noted composers and ensembles. Her long term collaborations with composers have led to CDs such as her 2011 solo release Absconditus. 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".
Since this release Plum has been invited to perform an evolving solo program of 21st century works, many of which were written for her, at new music festivals and series worldwide. These programs have been praised as “consistently stunning with works that demanded conventional virtuosity but also great skill in unconventional techniques” (third coast journal) and “extraordinary, meaningful and magnificent music” (Berlin Tageszeitung).
Upcoming concerts include solo performances of new music in San Diego and Chicago as well as concerts in Chicago of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Drake University String Ensemble. Plum is also currently recording the complete works of Bartok for violin alone and violin and piano with her long time duo partner, Timothy Lovelace. The first of a projected two CD project will be released in early 2014 on the Bluegriffin label.
Plum continues to collaborate with noted composers. Currently Christopher Adler, Mari Kimura, Charles Nichols, Mari Takano, Sidney Boquiren, Jeff Herriot and Sidney Corbett are writing, or have recently written pieces specifically for her. In the past 3 years alone, she has premiered 11 pieces and commissioned 7.
Plum 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.
Plum 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.