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Award-winning soprano Sally Sanford has had a distinguished career as a performer, scholar, and teacher. Internationally recognized for her expertise in historical performance, she has lectured and performed in Europe, Japan, and across the U.S. With her trio, Ensemble Chanterelle, she won the Concert Artists Guild International Award. She has been a soloist with many well-known ensembles, including Aston Magna, Ensemble for Early Music, Sequentia, and the Folger Consort, among others. With a repertoire ranging from the 12th- to the 21st-centuries, Miss Sanford has premiered works by Fenno Heath, James Blachly, and Leo Kraft, and she has appeared in staged medieval dramas and baroque operas in addition to oratorio, recital, chamber music concerts, and festivals. Her recital partners have included Raymond Erickson (harpsichord), Ursula Holliger (harp), George Mgrdician, (oud), Ken Zuckerman (medieval lute), Catherine Liddell (lute and theorbo), Brent Wissick (cello and viol), John Hsu (viol), and Brooke Bryant (soprano), among others. She has recorded for Harmonia Mundi-Germany, Lyrichord, MHS, Centaur, and Albany Records and given radio recitals on WDR -Cologne, SDF-Stuttgart, WQXR - New York, WGBH-Boston, and KQED - San Francisco. She has been a judge at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany and has given master classes and lectures for the Aston Magna Academy, the Bach Workshop (Japan), the Holland Early Music Festival, the Society for Seventeenth Century Music, and at numerous campuses across the U.S.

She has held academic appointments and residencies at Wellesley College, UCLA, Dartmouth College, Deep Springs College, Duke University, Queens College -CUNY, University of Virginia, and the Hartt School of Music, among others. As a choral clinician, she has worked with professional and semi-professional choral ensembles as well as church choirs and amateur choruses. She teaches singing at her private studio in Concord, Massachusetts and online across the globe.

A summa cum laude graduate of Yale, where she majored in Literature and Music, Miss Sanford earned her doctorate in historical performance practice at Stanford University, where she studied with George Houle, Leonard Ratner, William Mahrt, and Thomas Binkley. She studied voice with soprano (now conductor) Susan Davenny Wyner and former Metropolitan Opera mezzo soprano, Herta Glaz. Her landmark dissertation, “Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Vocal Style and Technique” has been cited in numerous publications and was translated into Polish and published in CANOR. She has published in the Journal of Seventeenth Century Music, the Festschrift for Prof. Kerala J. Snyder, the Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, and A Performer’s Guide to Seventeenth-Century Music. She is also the author of the children’s book, Henry and the Huckleberries, illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Ilse Plume.


“Years ago I used to attend all of Sally Sanford’s recitals during the years when she was studying for her doctorate at Stanford University. Putting aside the pleasure that I receive when I listen to the sound of her voice, I can be sure that whatever music she performs is being sung as it was meant to be sung, true to the performance practices that prevailed when it was written, as well as the stylistic preferences of the particular composer whose music she has chosen to interpret. No where else have I enjoyed listening to an artist who performs her art with more dedication and passion than does Sally Sanford.”
Amazon review by Richard Jacobel