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Winning With Women Wednesday: An Interview With Sarah Charness, Electronic Violinist

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Sarah Charness

This week we had fun getting to know a mover and shaker in the New York City music scene named, Sarah Charness.  Hailing from New York, electronic violinist Sarah Charness creates a singular blend of music that blends the worlds of classical, pop and electronic dance music (EDM). In 2015, Charness released her first track with Disco Killerz, “We Came to Party” which reached #48 on the Beatport “Hot 100 Electro House” chart. As a soloist, Charness has toured North America with the American progressive-rock band, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Sarah Charness HeadshotIn 2015, she headlined at the Summer Experience Music Festival in Capetown, South Africa, and she was the feature performer during the New York Knicks halftime show at “The World’s Most Famous Arena®,” New York City’s Madison Square Garden, as well as on the runway during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Charness has also performed at Radio City Music Hall® and Carnegie Hall in New York City, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., The Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Massey Hall in Toronto, and the Prague Opera House in the Czech Republic. Charness’s print features have included Crain’s New York, The Daily, The International Musician. 

To watch her Promotional Reel: Click Here


Get to know Sarah:

1. Can you please tell us which three pieces of music you love?

Anything solo Bach for Violin, Elgar Cello Concerto, All Things Aerosmith

2. Which musical genres do you think everyone should have represented in their musical library?

Classical or Pop.

3. Name three of your musical heroes?

Madonna, Michael Jackson, John Williams

4. What was your greatest concert experience?

Playing at Madison Square Garden! It was an amazing experience.

5. What are your top three favorite films?

I’m a Star Wars fanatic (I know, surprising), Clueless, and A League of Their Own!

6. What is the piece of music you wish had been written for the violin?

Elgar Cello Concerto.

7. What was your proudest moment?

When I came off the runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and realized I had made it through the performance without falling :).

8. How often do you practice?

I play every day! Practice? Hmm…that totally depends on the week and what i have coming up. I would like to say I practice every day but that would be a total lie.

9. Can you share with us an embarrassing or awkward moment and how you overcame it?

One of the hardest things to overcome as a player was to be thrown back into the mix with all of my “classical buddies” and to have to answer to what I’ve been doing lately. I made a serious departure from the classical world into Pop and Electronic music. Sometimes I feel as though I have to legitimize myself as a player. The reality is that I received training from an excellent conservatory and music school and if I needed to, I could probably whip up the Tchaikovsky concerto in a few weeks.

However, I chose not to go down that path and to do something that in the end, was a great fit for me. In the end, this was just a classic case of “middle school worries”, always being obsessed about what everyone else thinks. I have learned to have confidence in what I do and to be proud of it!

10. What do you do to relax?

I spend time participating in Yoga/Pilates.

11. Three living people you would most like to meet for dinner and why?

Lena Dunham – because she is my idol.
Seth McFarlen – because he would just sit there and make me laugh for three hours.
Mark Zuckerberg – since he could teach me how to use Facebook properly.

12. If you weren’t a violinist, what job would you want?

I would lean towards a social worker or a therapist. As musicians, we spend most of the day thinking about ourselves and our world is very self involved. I would want to do something that involves others and giving back.

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