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MUSIC ‣ Musician of the Month, August-September, Sandra Goldberg, Violinist and Composer

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

Phil Cartwright, Founder

This month, we are very pleased to introduce Sandra Golberg, Violinist and Composer

Preferred Music: I like to listen to and play most music. I especially like classical music from the late 19th to middle 20th century, like Bartók, Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussy, Copland, but also love the music of Bach, Telemann, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Brahms. I also like folk music and jazz, as well as music of other cultures besides our Western music.

Most Memorable Moment as a Professional Musician: In my 40+ years as a professional musician there have been so many memorable moments, it is hard to pick one! So I would like to share a few:

A magical chamber music experience performing the Brahms Horn Trio at the Grand Teton Music Festival with pianist Zeyda Ruga Suzuki and horn player Kendall Betts where we clicked so well with each other the music just flowed beautifully without needing to talk about it or rehearse.

As we played the "Hora" at the end of the performance of my musical drama "Judah-Judah" at St. Peter Church in Zürich, members of the audience joined hands and happily danced up and down the aisles.

During a Young People's Concert with the Zürich Chamber Orchestra (ZKO) in Korea, a young blind man volunteered and was helped up to the stage to conduct music by Mozart. He conducted with such passion and enthusiasm it brought all of us to tears. There are so many more such moments, maybe I should write a book!!!

Describe Your Dream Performance:


Playing the Bartók Concerto at Chicago Orchestra Hall, Producing and performing "Judah-Judah" in St. Peter Church Zürich, A perfomance of some of my compositions for chamber orchestra played by my colleagues at the ZKO as a retirement present.


I would so much love to have my musical story "Gnakamuk" performed by an orchestra, dancers, narrator and children

“The plum of Friday night’s performance was, of course,

violinist Sandra Goldberg’s performance ...

the three ovations she received could

have justly been doubled.”

— Chicago Sun Times —

Sandra Goldberg grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Beginning the violin with her father Milton Goldberg, she pursued her musical studies at the Peabody Conservatory, Eastman School of Music and Yale School of Music, as well as at the Banff Centre. She has had a successful career as a soloist, chamber music player, orchestral player and teacher. She has performed chamber music with such fine artists as Zara Nelsova, Aaron Rosand, Nobuko Imai, David Schifrin, Carter Brey, Joseph Robinson, Steven De Groote, Olli Mustonen and Hidetaro and Zeyda Suzuki.

As a winner of New York Artists International she made her debut with the Orion String Quartet at Carnegie Recital Hall. Memorable solo performances have been of the Bartók Concerto no. 2 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Takemitsu’s “Nostalghia” in the Zürich Tonhalle, the Mendelssohn Concerto with the National Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Tomsk (in Baden and Montreux, Switzerland) and performances of Schnittke’s “Moz-Art à la Haydn” on tour as a member of the Zürich Chamber Orchestra (ZKO) in Switzerland, Turkey, China, Singapore, and at the CarinthianSummer Festival in Villach, Austria. Appointed to the post of Third Solo Violin of the ZKO in 1985, she was also assistant concertmaster there for several years. She retired from the orchestra in 2017.

Her prinicpal teachers have included Berl Senofsky, Donald Weilerstein and the Cleveland Quartet, Syoko Aki Erle and Karen Tuttle. She has also worked with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Aaron Rosand and Zoltan Szekely among others, and has performed in master classes of Szymon Goldberg, Raphael Bronstein and Nathan Milstein.

This past spring, as we were all in Corona lockdown, I began to feel the need to express something that I could only express through music. It expresses the feelings of being closed in, unable to break out, unable to be close to my friends, the frustrations, the sadness and pain of what this crisis is causing, but also of the introspection from within and appreciation of the beauty found in the nearby surroundings -- whether a budding rose, a bumbling hedgehog in the garden, or a deer appearing in the woods.

Although she composed a bit as a child, Sandra Goldberg’s life as a composer really started in the late 1990’s. She has been developing and expanding her talents as a composer since then in various genres including music for children, chamber music, songs, and orchestral works.

In 2009 her musical drama “Judah-Judah” was performed at St. Peter’s Church in Zürich, several of the songs having been premiered in a concert version in the USA in 2004 at Temple Adath Emanu-El in Mt Laurel, New Jersey.

She has received prizes and recognition for several of her compositions, including the American String Teacher Fiddle Competition in Nebraska, USA and the Boathouse Cello Choir competition in Florida. Her compositions have been heard on the Arte Concerts “Hope at Home” series and on Swiss and German television. Her music has been performed by such artists as Daniel Hope and Giora Feidmann, by the Leonia Chamber Players in New Jersey and by members of the Zürich Chamber Orchestra and other colleagues in Switzerland. Her “Clarinet Rider” for clarinet ensemble was performed for the Opening Season Festival 2017 at the Zürich Opera House. Most recently she was invited to participate in the Swiss Female Composers Festival 2020-21.


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