Hailed by The New York Times for her “radiant, liquid tone,” “exquisitely phrased,” and “sweetly dazzling” singing, soprano Sarah Brailey is in growing demand as a soloist and chamber music artist across all genres of music. She has performed Steve Reich at Carnegie Hall, Handel’s Messiah with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and with Kanye West and Roomful of Teeth at the Hollywood Bowl. Highlights of Sarah’s current and recent seasons include Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Colorado Symphony; George Benjamin’s Dream of the Song with the Lorelei Ensemble and Boston Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Silete venti with the Handel and Haydn Society; Zweite Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Clarion Music Society; various John Zorn works at the Louvre, Guggenheim, and Met Museum; Handel’s Messiah with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, and Albany’s Cathedral of All Saints; Costanza in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata with the American Classical Orchestra; the world premiere of Daniel Felsenfeld’s Astrophysical Mass; Bach’s B Minor Mass with REBEL Baroque; Handel’s Samson with Nicholas McGegan; Scott Gendel’s new oratorio Barbara Allen (written for Sarah); Britten’s Les Illuminations with NOVUS NY; Schoenberg’s Das Buch der hängenden Gärten with the Brooklyn Art Song Society; and numerous appearances with the Polydora Ensemble, a vocal quartet that specializes in 19th century German art song repertoire.
Sarah is a devoted interpreter of new music and enjoys an ever-expanding circle of collaborators. In addition to her ongoing projects with John Zorn, she is a frequent guest artist with GRAMMY® Award-winning alternative-classical vocal band Roomful of Teeth, appearing in concert and educational residencies with the group across North America. Sarah has worked closely with a number of established composers such as John Zorn, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Caroline Shaw, Merrill Garbus, David Lang, Christopher Cerrone, Daniel Felsenfeld, Tarik O’Regan, Jesse Jones, Paola Prestini, Ralf Yusuf Gawlick, and Scott Wheeler. Recent contemporary opera engagements include the American premiere of Hércules en el Mato Grosso, a new opera by Argentine composer Esteban Insinger; Pablo Ortiz’s Gallos y Huesos with The Americas Society; Stefan Weisman and David Cote’s The Scarlet Ibis with American Opera Projects; and Lera Auerbach’s The Blind at The Lincoln Center Festival.
In addition, Sarah is a core member of Lorelei Ensemble, a 9-voice female chamber music ensemble based in Boston. Lorelei’s mission is to expand the repertoire for women’s voices. The ensemble has commissioned and premiered more than fifty new works since its founding in 2007, while continuing to expose and reinvent early works of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque repertoires. Of a recent Lorelei performance, one critic wrote “A world premiere of ‘The Last Rose,’ by Jessica Meyer reached one of the evening’s high points. The fearless doubler, soprano/cellist Sarah Brailey made of it something truly affecting.”
Among Sarah’s recording collaborators are tUne-yArDs, John Zorn, Paola Prestini, and Bang on a Can All-Stars Stars (Julia Wolfe’s 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning work Anthracite Fields). Sarah is featured on New York Polyphony’s GRAMMY®-nominated album Sing Thee Nowell and can be heard on recordings released by Naxos, Sono Luminus, Tzadik, Musica Omnia, BIS, 4AD, Soundbrush Records, and VIA Records.
Sarah’s awards include First Prize in the 2015 Madison Early Music Festival’s Handel Aria Competition and the Leopold Damrosch Award in the 2014 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Solo Competition. She was a semi-finalist in the 2014 and 2016 Concert Artist Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition.