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ABOUT 

             Marc Sabbah (1988, New York City) is a viola soloist, chamber musician, professor and the principal violist of the Belgian National Orchestra. 

 In 2019 Marc created the Kâsteaux chamber music festival in Belgium and is currently the artistic director of the festival. As of September 2017, Marc is a viola professor at the Royal Conservatory of Mons, Belgium.  Graduating Cum Laude from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Marc was a pupil of Sven Arne Tepl and Nobuko Imai.

        His awards include the 1st prize at the 2013 Amsterdam National Viola Competition, 2016 Rising Stars Grand Prix music competition performing solo at the Berlin Philharmonic hall as well as the 1st Grand Prize at the Manhattan International Music Competition with a recital at Carnegie Hall. Marc has played numerous concerti with international orchestras such as the Belgian National Orchestra, Athens State Orchestra, Philharmonisches Orchester Basel, Antalya State Orchestra,  Casco Philharmonic, de Filharmonie Amsterdam, Filarmonia del desierto de Couahuila,  Camerata Rousseau and the Bogotá Symphony Orchestra. With a strong online presence and follwing, Marc Sabbah is establishing himself as a musical force of his generation.   

   
             Since 2016, Marc has collaborated with Belgian pianist Eliane Reyes forming the Duo Sabbah-Reyes, a unique duo dedicated to exploring viola and piano repertoire. The duo has just released its latest disc titled 'AppassionAlto' under the label, Prospero Classical. The album has received praise from the STRAD magazine and other publications.  As a founding member and violist of the string Trio NOMADA, Marc plays along side the principal cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra, David Cohen and violinist and professor in Mannheim, Noé Inui.
          Marc is establishing himself as a pre-eminent young violist with performances at the Varna Festival in Bulgaria, Grachten Festival Amsterdam, Delft Chamber Music Festival, Utrecht Chamber Music Festival, Viola Congress Rotterdam in the Netherlands, ArteAmanti, Festival van Vlaanderen, Les Sons Intensifs in Belgium, Goslar Festival in Germany, Zeeland Klassiek in the Netherlands as well as festivals Arcidosso, Les Nuits Romantiques, Cremona Academy and Talent Summer Courses in Italy and many others. 

     

        Giving masterclasses in association with the Dutch Viola Society, the Brussels Chamber Music Festival and the Athens State Orchestra, In Mexico and Colombia, Marc is deeply involved in teaching and communicating his love of music to both young artists and publics alike often giving lessons via video.
             
Described as"a magnificent player" by legendary conductor Zubin Mehta, Marc has been invited to play as guest Principal violist of the Israeli Philharmonic as well as the National Orchestra of Lille, The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zürich and others.  In 2011, Marc Sabbah performed with Ivry Gitlis at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. Since then, Ivry Gitlis attended Marc's performance of the Leo Smit viola concerto at the Royal Conservatory of Mons calling Marc 'The Paganini of viola'
           His pursuit of music led him to study with great performers like Pinchas Zukerman, Lawrence Power, Kim Kashkashian, baroque cellist Anner Bijlsma, Nobuko Imai and others. Marc has performed and attended festivals throughout Europe, Israel, Ukraine, Russia, the United States and Canada. Marc has won top prizes at the Moscow Arts Competition in Boston, the Horowitz International Competition and Academy in Kiev, Ukraine, (2004) performing Hoffmeister concerto for viola and orchestra as well as Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the Ukrainian State Orchestra.

             At only the age of 18 Marc premiered new works at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall as former violist of the Kubrick-Quartet and as principal violist of the Deutche-Skandinaviche Jugend Philharmonie as well as substituting with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (DeFilharmonie) in Antwerp, Belgium.  

            Marc began his studies on violin at the age of 3 at the 3rd Street Music School in Manhattan, furthering his studies at the Lucy Moses School with teacher Mark Lakirovich. Mesmerized by the warmth of its tone and in admiration of his sister's cello playing, Marc switched to the viola at age 11. He completed his studies in the United States as a graduate of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High school of Performing Arts and the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School.

Since 2020, Marc is an ambassador for  Jargar Strings.  Marc plays on a Leroy F. Geiger viola dated 1951 made in Chicago, USA. 

PROJECTS

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As of 2019, Marc Sabbah is the founder and artistic director of the Kâsteaux Chamber Music Festival
 
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Since 2017, Marc Sabbah is a professor of viola at the 
Royal Conservatory of Mons, Belgium
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REPERTOIRE

Sonata with Piano & Solo viola
 

  • Bach, J.S. - 6 cello suites for solo viola

  • Bach, J.S. - 6 violin sonatas & partitas (arr. viola)

  • Britten, Benjamin - Solo cellos suites 1 & 2(arr. viola)

  • Sabbah, Marc - 'Hommage' for solo viola

  • Sabbah, Marc - Hommage to John Coltrane 

  • Sabbah, Marc - 'Sarabande-19'

  • Stravinsky, Igor - Elegy for solo viola

  • Telemann, G.P. - 12 Fantasies for solo viola

  • Vieuxtmeps, Henri - Capriccio for solo viola


 

  • Brahms, Johannes - Sonata Op.120 n.1 & n.2

  • Glazunov, Alexander - Elegie

  • Glinka, Mikhail - Sonata for viola & piano

  • Hindemith, Paul - Sonata Op.11 N.4 for viola & piano

  • Hindemith, Paul - Sonata Op. 25 N.1 for viola solo

  • Martinu, Bohuslav - Sonata for viola & piano

  • Milhaud, Darius - Quatre Visage for viola & piano

  • Schubert, Franz - Arpeggione Sonata

  • Schumann, Robert - Märchenbilder, Op.113

  • Schumann, Robert - 3 Romances Op.94

  • Schumann, Robert - Adagio & Allegro

  • Shostakovich, Dimitri - Sonata for viola & piano

  • Vieuxtemps, Henri - Viola Sonata Op.36

  • Vieuxtemps, Henri- Elegie for viola & piano

  • Zyman, Samuel - Cello Sonata (arr. viola)

Concerto for viola & orchestra

 

  • J.C. Bach - Concerto for viola and orchestra

  • Bartok, Bela - Concerto for viola and orchestra

  • Berlioz, Hector - Harold in Italy

  • Hindemith, Paul - Der Schwanendreher

  • Hoffmeister, Franz Anton - Concerto for viola and orchestra

  • Hummel, Johann Nepomuk - Potpourri for viola and orchestra

  • Schnittke, Alfred - Concerto for viola

  • Stamitz, Carl - Concerto for viola & orchestra in D major

  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus - Simphonia Concertante

  • Leo Smit - Concerto for viola and string orchestra

  • Telemann, Georg Philipp - Concerto for viola and string orchestra

  • Walton, Sir William - Concerto for viola and orchestra

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