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Sara Chenal Portrait

Sara Chenal

A violonist, she won a first prize with distinction at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon in 2003, with  R.Dugareil, then A.Roussin as masters. She later attended advanced violin classes at the Rotterdams Conservatorium under the guidance of J.J. Kantorow, then a series of chamber music classes at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris with E.Bellocq, J.J. Kantorow and R.Dyedns.

Throughout her years of apprenticeship she was invaluably advised by H.Cartier-Bresson, C.Courtois, J.Ghestem, L.Ketels, P.Lucotte, C.Poiget, A.Vinnitski, and T.Zehetmair.


A full-time member of the orchestra at the Opera of Dijon  ( 1996-2001), she subsequently veered to a career as a soloist and chamber music player, first as member in a string trio then a duet with the guitar player Olivier Pelmoine. Their henceforth “ Cordes et Ames/ Strings and Souls” combination played 250 concerts in association with the Jeunesses Musicales de France and was the award winner of the international  Mauro Giuliani competition in Bari , sponsored by the Societe Generale.

Since 2006 she has played as first violin in the “Sine Qua Non” string quartet and frequently appears in all sorts of chamber music groups.

She also appears as guest violinist in such ensembles as La Baule, J.W.Audoili, Forum Sinfonietta, Les Musiciens d’Art, Musica de Flandre, Océan. 

She also regularly performs contemporary music with  Multilatérale, Cairn, Court-Circuit, Instant Donné or Utopik.

Sara Chenal’s performances often take place in Paris Cité de la Musique, Théâtre du Châtelet, salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau, l’Olympia, although she has occasionally performed in the Basilique of Vezelay, Mont Saint-Michel, Palais des Papes in Avignon or Theatre Graslin in Nantes. She has also widely travelled to play in Italy, Germany, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tunisia, or Canada.

She has often been asked to take part in broadcasts, in particular the well-known France-Musique programmes “Dans la Cour des Grands” or “Alla Breve”.

She has recorded three CDs  for Scarbo with the guitar-player Olivier Pelmoine :Taïgo in 2007 ( Contemporary music), San Telmo in 2009 ( South American), Chansons populaires espagnoles in 2012 ( De Falla, Granados).

She appears in miscellaneous recordings with Marc Perrone, Jacques Lenot, Philippe Leloup, Albert Hamman, , Emilie Simon…

Several pieces have been dedicated to her ( J.Y.Bosseur, J-L Narvaez, F.Rossé).

She has transcribed the Aranjuez Concerto and  De Falla’s El amor brujo/L’amour sorcier, for string quartet and guitar, and has published for Editions Lemoine Sergio Arriagada’s Danses sud-américaines in a  1 -violin or 2- violin version.

Sara Chenal is also very keen on teaching and has passed her Certificat d’Aptitude. After teaching for five years at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional in Nantes, and four years at the CEFEDEM Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, she is at present both teacher and coordinator at the district Conservatoire of Paris 8e.

She has directed master-classes in France, Nigeria and Tunisia.


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