Dr Sarah Watkins

BMus Canterbury, MMus DMA Juilliard School (New York)


Sarah is a founding member of NZTrio, a group widely recognized as one of New Zealand’s most dynamic and indispensable music ensembles, bringing bold and eclectic performances to audiences around the world.

Her lifelong passion for accompanying and chamber music has led to an impressive career in the US and New Zealand, where she is highly sought after as a collaborative pianist, recording artist, and ensemble musician. She has been an official pianist for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition since its inception in 2001, has performed as a freelance player in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and has appeared as concerto soloist with St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, ACO, and the APO. In 2014 Sarah recorded Chris Watson's "sing songs self" for solo piano and orchestra with the NZSO, a composition which was awarded the prestigious 2015 SOUNZ Contemporary Award.

Sarah is a graduate of the University of Canterbury (NZ) and the Juilliard School in New York City, where she earned both Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in collaborative piano. While living in the US, Sarah worked as a staff pianist at Juilliard, Yale University, and the Aspen Music Festival.  Among academic highlights was her work as coordinator of the collaborative piano program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and several years on the music faculty of Purchase College, New York. During the period 2004-2009 NZTrio was ensemble in residence at the University of Auckland, where Sarah also taught collaborative piano and chamber music.

Areas of expertise

accompanying, chamber music, new music

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 2, Room 205
New Zealand