Sarah Oates

1st Violin

Associate Leader

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sarah studied violin with Louis van der Watt at the Hugo Lambrecht Music Centre in Cape Town. At the age of fourteen, she won the South African National Huguenot competition and the National High School music competition.

Portrait of Sarah Oates

In 1992 she was rewarded a scholarship to study with Yossi Zivoni at the Purcell School of Music in London, and later at the Royal Northern College of Music. Sarah continued her studies with Pinchas Zukerman at the Manhattan School of Music and later with Alexander Kerr in Amsterdam. Sarah made her debut at the Sante Fe chamber music festival in New Mexico, where she performed and toured with Pinchas Zukerman. In 2002 she was a prizewinner in the Vriendenkrans competition of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Sarah has performed violin concertos with orchestras including Holland Symfonia, the London Philharmonia Chamber Ensemble,  the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, RNCM Symphony Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic, and the Natal Philharmonic. From 2008 until 2013 Sarah was the concertmaster of the Holland Symfonia Orchestra in Amsterdam.

Sarah has been the Philharmonia’s Associate Leader since 2013. She is in demand as a guest concertmaster and regularly appears as concertmaster with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra and the Gelders Orchestra.

Sarah is an experienced chamber musician and performs regularly with friends and colleagues. In May 2015 she performed in the opening concert of the Philharmonia Chamber Players series in the Royal Festival Hall, London.

As a member of the Devich Piano Trio she recorded four CD’s with Challenge Records to critical acclaim.

Sarah plays a Gennaro Gagliano violin made in Naples, 1758.

The Associate Leader Chair is currently available for endowment. Endowment opportunities at the Philharmonia offer supporters unique access and insights to our players. Find out more here.