It is, of course, every musician’s dream to at some stage be able to play with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. At just 21 years of age, Sarah Christ had played in both these world famous orchestras.
Born in 1980, Sarah began playing the harp at the age of 10. For a whole year she, who had been playing and continued to play both the violin and the piano, had to beg to be allowed to receive a harp and harp lessons. And thus the harp was introduced into this musical ensemble, the Christ family: The famous Martinu Oboe Concerto was written for and dedicated to Sarah’s grandfather, first oboist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sarah’s father had for 22 years been the leader of the violas in the Berlin Philharmonic.
“In Kindergarten I had already begun to regularly attend the Berlin Philharmonic concerts and also other concerts my father played in. I can still remember the great aura surrounding Herbert von Karajan and when I shook his hand as a little girl in Salzburg in the ‘Festspielhaus’. I love playing together with my father and brother, which I have been able to do on multiple occasions in the Luzern Festival Orchestra with Claudio Abbado.”
At the age of 13, Sarah Christ gave her debut as a soloist with the Berlin Symphonic Orchestra in the Berlin Philharmonic hall. Since then, she has played as a soloist with the Jenaer Philharmonic orchestra, the Sinfonietta Cologne, the Kuerpfalzischen Kammerorchestra, the Prague Opera, the Dresden Kapellsolisten and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, just to name a few.
Sarah regularly plays with brother and violinist Raphael Christ, and in 2006 together they were able to win first prize in the Kulturkreises des Bundes der Deutschen Industrie Competition.
“The phase in my life that cemented my desire to become a musician was my involvement in the Mahler Youth Orchestra. I was 17 at the time, still at school, and playing with conductors like Claudio Abaddo, Seiji Ozawa and Franz Welser-Moest left an incredible impression on me; it was definitely an honour. At that time I was also very involved in the piano and had even toyed with the idea of studying it. These trips with the youth orchestra, however, made it clear to me that I simply had to pursue the harp because as a pianist you don’t have nearly as many opportunities to play in an orchestra.”
In 1999, Sarah embarked on her studies in Detmold with Catherine Michel, continued by studying in Lyon with Fabrice Pierre and later completed her studies with a Masterkalssendiplom Karmmermusik after having studied under Helga Storck in Munich.
Her initial leap onto the highest rung of the musical ladder in 2002 came about through her engagement in the Vienna Opera Orchestra at the age of 21, making her one of the youngest members of the orchestra.
"I have known Sarah Christ for several years and have watched her development with interest and joy. She is equally at home in the orchestra, as my concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic have proven, as well as in different kinds of chamber music ensembles, where her performance is always of the highest standard."
Daniel Barenboim, 2003
Feeling as though she was still too young to settle into a permanent orchestral position, Sarah Christ left the Vienna Opera after two years in order to pursue the fields of Chamber music and solo performance. She also played in orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Bayerischen Staatsoper, the Bayerischen Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and has, since 2004, been repeatedly invited by Claudio Abbado to take part in the Luzern Festival Orchestra.
Sarah Christ has also received a scholarship from the Deutschen Musikrates and together with Sandra Schumacher (oboe) they formed the duet ‘Harbois’ and toured throughout Germany playing concerts.
She has also played chamber music in festivals such as Tanglewood, Lockenhaus, the Edinburgh Festival, the Luzern Festival, the Moritzburg Festival, the Schwetzinger Musikfestspielen, as well as in the Carnegie Hall together with Emmanuel Pahud, Wolfgang Schulz, Jan Vogler, Albrecht Mayer, Renaud Capucon and Eckhardt Haupt.
In 2013 Sarah Christ gave her debut in Wigmore Hall playing a Schubert Liederabend with baritone Matthias Goerne.
Not exclusively involved in playing, Sarah Christ is also well acquainted with the art of teaching. She has taught in the Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, in the Sommerakademie der Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes in 2012, in the Mahler Chamber Orchestra academy and was invited as a guest professor to the Orchesterzentrum Dortmund.
She lives with her husband, horn player in the Staatskapelle Dresden, and daughter in Dresden.