Sarah Swersey

In Graduates, Massachusetts by jan_mfp

Sarah has enlivened the great concert halls of Europe and America, performing as featured orchestra soloist.

She also has set aside the sheet music and experimented with spontaneous inspiration, playing and recording with the likes of Grammy Award-winning cellist David Darling. Sarah’s exciting new project is Dúo Fusión, a collaboration with jazz guitarist Joe Belmont that soars all over the musical map. Sarah Swersey has taken her flute many places.

Sarah and her flute have a long and dedicated history together. A native of the New York area, Sarah began playing at age 9, and by high school she was traveling to Manhattan on weekend mornings to study at The Juilliard School. A big and important chunk of each summer was spent at Kinhaven Music School, a camp in Vermont that played a significant role in Sarah’s development as a musician.

Sarah went on to Oberlin Conservatory, where her teacher was Robert Willoughby, then earned a master’s degree at Yale University School of Music, where she studied with Thomas Nyfenger. After graduate school, Sarah landed the prestigious position of co-principal flute with the American Soviet Youth Orchestra, and toured the Soviet Union, Europe and the United States. Immediately afterward, Sarah was invited to the Canary Islands to perform with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, and she ended up spending seven years as principal flutist with the Spanish orchestra.

After returning to New York in 1997, Sarah performed at such venues as the Lincoln Center Festival, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Tanglewood Music Festival. Her horizons expanded beyond classical music when, in 1999, she participated in a gathering of Music for People, a musical improvisation group founded by David Darling. Creating music from within, spontaneously, was a freeing experience, leading Sarah to record a CD of improvised solo flute lullabies, Nightingale, and also to create an improv workshop for young conservatory students, which she has taught at several summer music camps.

Today, Sarah lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she teaches flute and performs in a variety of ensembles. Her most exciting current project is Dúo Fusión, a flute-and-guitar ensemble with the versatile Joe Belmont. They venture all over the musical map — from J.S. Bach to Astor Piazzolla, Miles Davis to Gabriel Fauré, Celtic jig to Andes folk song to surf guitar frenzy. Their CD, Dúo Fusión, was lauded by All About Jazz as “an ambitious quest to conquer all music types.”