Before arriving in Paris, Sarah realized that much of her musical training had taken place in the Russian and Germanic tradition. This sparkled a great curiosity towards the nuances of French composition and style. She decided that during her year in Paris, she would devote herself to the study of works of Art Nouveau and the Impressionist period. As an amateur painter, she was attracted by the masterpieces preserved in many Parisian museums. The unique and imaginative way painters such as Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley and many others have used color, inspired her to highlight the parallels between painting and musical compositions by discovering her own color palette. Thanks to her cello teacher, Cyrille Lacrouts, principal cello of the Paris Opera, and her mentor and friend Jonathan Shimony, professor of Fine Arts at the American University of Paris, she was able to polish her grasp of the context in which these beautiful pieces were written.
It was through her participation in the Ensemble Calliopée project, in artistic residency at the FEU, that Sarah met pianist Claire Krupka, whom she invited to collaborate on her end of year concert at the FEU. The first meeting between the two musicians was decisive. A musical complicity emerged spontaneously. Their common passion for chamber music led them quite naturally to cultivate their exchange as an adventure in its own right.
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Minor
I. Prologue: Lent, sostenuto e molto risoluto
II. Sérénade: Modérément animé
III. Finale: Animé, léger et nerveux
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Après un Rêve Élégie in C Minor
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Pièce en forme de Habanera
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
César Franck (1822-1890)
Sonata for Cello and Piano in A Major
I. Allegretto ben moderato
III. Ben moderato: Recitativo-Fantasia
IV. Allegretto poco mosso
Sarah Ghandour, an honored recipient of a full five year scholarship, graduated May 2017 from Bard College and Conservatory with a Bachelor of Art in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance, having studied under Cellist Peter Wiley. An avid chamber musician, Sarah has collaborated with artists including Peter Wiley, Peter Serkin, Daniel Phillips, and Dawn Upshaw. As principal cellist of the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, she has performed in New York, Eastern Europe, Russia, and most recently in Cuba, including collaboration with Camerata Romeu, a female Cuban string orchestra. Sarah was a finalist in the 2016 Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition, and in May 2017 had the pleasure of performing the Korngold Cello Concerto with The Orchestra Now. Following her study in the Fall of 2015 at the American University of Paris, and cello studies with Xavier Gagnepain, Conservatoire Boulogne-Billancourt, Sarah had the distinct pleasure of performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Piano and Cello, and the Brahms Clarinet Trio, at the Royal Castle of Warsaw, Poland on invitation by Bard Conservatory. Sarah has also delighted in participating in Music at Menlo, Yellow Barn, and Encore String Quartet Intensive Summer Chamber Music Festivals. After her 2017-2018 artist residency at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France, Sarah will pursue a master’s degree at Stony Brook University, New York, under the tutelage of cellist Colin Carr.
Claire Krupka (guest pianist) began her musical studies at the Arras Conservatory (France) before studying at the National School of Music in Riga (Latvia). She then joined Dana Ciocarlie’s class at the Conservatoire Régional de Paris where she unanimously obtained the Music studies diploma. Her encounter with pianist Frédéric Lagarde marked a turning point in her life as a young musician, and she decided to study with him before joining Fabrizio Chiovetta’s class at the Haute École de Musique de Genève. During the masterclasses, she had the opportunity to receive advice from Christophe Bukudjian, Helmut Deutsch, Avedis Kouyoumdjian, Cédric Pescia… In 2015, Claire won second prize at the Brest International Competition in viola/piano duo and 1st prize at the Paris Conservatories Chamber Music Competition in violin/piano duo. The same year, she graduated from the Académie des Sciences, Arts et Lettres d’Arras. Since then, in solo or in chamber groups, she performed at the Festival Les Inouïes, the Festival Musique aux Mirabelles, the Rencontres Musicales de Saint-Cézaire, the Rencontres Musicales de Haute Provence, the Théâtre de Neuchâtel (Switzerland), in Bourges, and in Paris (Festival d’Hiver, Grand Salon des Invalides, Mairie du 3e arr, Fondation des États-Unis, Auditorium Saint-Germain). Claire holds a Music Performance Bachelor’s degree from the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève, where she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in music, supported by the Tanner Foundation.