please click here for a biography suitable for inclusion in concert programmes

Music has been an inspiration, challenge and way of life to Sara Deborah since early childhood. Having studied the violin since age 4 in her native Germany, and later England, she has loved learning about music, life and herself, by working with many inspiring colleagues and teachers. As a performer on the national and international scene, Sara enjoys a breadth of work including chamber, solo, early music, orchestral, leading, directing and teaching. It has been important to her to connect to her audiences, passing on the invaluable gift of music as a thriving source to people in all situations of life.   

Having been encouraged on her musical pathway by Lord Yehudi Menuhin at age 13, she gave her first recital and performed Aram Chatchaturjan’s violin concerto in the Rhein-Main Concert Hall at 15. She has since performed as a soloist in venues and festivals across Germany, the UK and Europe, including the Schubert-Saal at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Lufthansa Baroque Festival, Mozarteum-Saal Salzburg, Staatstheater Mainz, Cadogan Hall and St John’s Smith Square, London, and was broadcast on German and British radio. 

Chamber music has always been at the heart of Sara’s musical activities. She was part of the International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove and performed at London venues and Quartetfest Manchester before co-founding period string quartet Chiaroscuro with whom she performed as second violin from 2005-2009 at venues including the Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, Aldeburgh Music, and for BBC Radio 3, as well as Ensemble Amaranthos who were part of the Brighton Early Music scheme, finalists at the York Early Music Competition and performed at music festivals in the UK and abroad. She has enjoyed performing chamber music with Alina Ibragimova, Stephen Gutman, James Boyd, Paul Sturm and members of Florilegium, Allegri Quartet and Gaede Trio at events including the York Early Music Festival, Trigonale (Austria), Newbury Spring and various other festivals across the UK and Europe. Sara Deborah has a regular recital schedule in partnership with her husband Alessandro Timossi performing at venues and festivals in England, Germany and Italy.

Sara Deborah regularly works with early music groups including Florilegium, La Serenissima, The Sixteen, Dunedin Concert, Brandenburg Baroque Soloists and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She was a member and section leader with the European Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) in 2008, touring Europe and recording with Lars-Ulrik Mortensen and Enrico Onofri. In 2009 she was the second violin soloist alongside Adrian Chandler for La Serenissima’s programme ‘Gods, Emperors and Angels’, which was released on the AVIE label to critical acclaim. In recent years she has appeared as a soloist for violin concerti by Bach and Vivaldi, and given solo and chamber recitals on the baroque violin.  

Sara Deborah received tuition from many outstanding musicians, teachers, chamber coaches, conductors and mentors in the best of German, English and Russian traditions. After beginnings in the Sassmanshaus tradition with Sally Becker near Nuremberg, she was a junior student at the Musikhochschule Mainz under Helga Waehdel and started in 2000 after an early Abitur (A levels) at age 16 at the Musikhochschule Nuernberg-Augsburg in the class of Daniel Gaede. During those early years she grew as a distinctive, individual performer, noted for her expressiveness and her wish to share music as a valuable gift, also with those less privileged – an aim supported by organizations live music now! and Crescendo.  

At age 17 she left for England to join Yfrah Neaman’s class at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She graduated from the GSMD with First Class Honours in 2004, having been coached in chamber music by members of the Takacs and Vellinger quartets, and leading the GSMD orchestra on various occasions in opera and concert performances. During that time she was hugely inspired by the vivacity of historical performance listening to a concert with the OAE under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski, and subsequently began studying early music too.

She continued with postgraduate studies as a scholar at the Royal College of Music learning modern violin with Natalia Boyarsky and baroque violin with Adrian Butterfield, and played an active role as chamber musician and orchestra leader particularly in the Early Music Department. She completed her formal studies with a Masters of Music, Advanced Performance Diploma and Artist Diploma in 2007. In 2008 she was the RCM’s Phoebe Benham String Junior Fellow, using her role to bridge the areas of historically informed and ‘traditionally modern’ teaching and performing and encouraging the use of ‘early music knowledge’ with traditionally trained players.

Sara participated and performed in numerous international summer schools including Summer Academy Salzburg, IMS Prussia Cove, Carl-Flesch-Academy and Keshet Eilon and has learned further in masterclasses with Ana Chumachenco, Andras Keller, Rainer Kussmaul, Gordan Nikolitch and Isabelle van Keulen. On the baroque violin she has enjoyed the tutorship of Catherine Macintosh, and was taught in masterclasses by Rachel Podger, Elizabeth Wallfish and Lucy van Dael. She was chosen for the OAE Young Artists scheme in 2005, working with conductors Charles Mackerras, Frans Bruggen and Vladmir Jurowski and further performed in orchestra under the baton of Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink and Roger Norrington.  

Sara Deborah was chosen as a scholar by the Evangelische Studienstiftung and Peter-Pirazzi-Stiftung, as well as Sparkassen-Stiftung Roth-Schwabach who supported her studies and purchase of instruments as well as sponsoring her first solo CD, ‘Begegnungen’ (Encounters). She was further supported as a scholar at the GSMD and RCM by the George-Child Trust, the Leverhulme and Amaryllis Fleming trusts, and won various prizes and awards including the Lions Prize at the Musikhochschule Nuernberg, the String Quartet Prize at the GSMD and the Richard III Early Music Prize at the RCM.  She has been a successful participant in various international competitions winning first prize at the Southwest German Chamber Competition, and Eastbourne Soloist Competition, and was awarded the Philip & Dorothy Green Young Artist Award in 2008, leading to performances and recitals across the UK. After proceeding to the second round and semi-finals at the International Bach Competition Leipzig and the Brugge Musica Antiqua Competition, she won the First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2017 Premio Bonporti International Baroque Violin Competition in Rovereto, Italy.

Considering herself lucky to have received insight and generous mentorship from great musicians, Sara is a keen educator herself. From 2008 till 2011 she taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School as an Assistant Teacher, where she worked closely with Natalia Boyarsky, Akiko Ono and Simon Fisher and taught the violin to Primary School Classes in Surrey as part of the ‘A Chance to Play’ scheme. She now teaches privately and at schools in Hampshire. Her students have won recognitions and awards and have been accepted at under- and postgraduate performance courses in music colleges.  

In recent years, while continuing building her profile as a performer on modern and early instruments, Sara has built up a local musical platform around her growing family in her chosen home in Hampshire. She enjoys fostering young talent through workshops and performance opportunities, especially within the Spirit of Music Festival, an annual event that she founded in 2013. With string orchestra SouthDowns Camerata that she directs from the violin, she organizes concerts and events in a broad range of styles, bringing in outstanding performers with local roots to an enthusiastic local audience.

Sara Deborah plays on two beautiful Genovese violins, J. Cordanus from 1772, and F. Loewenberger from 2008 (copy of Maggini).

A keen writer and creative person, she cherishes discovering the world daily with her three children.