Chair, Department of Music
Associate Professor of Music
Sarita Kwok has distinguished herself one of the most captivating and sophisticated performers of her generation. She has been enthralling audiences across the globe since she was named Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year and made her debut with the Sydney Symphony at the age of fifteen.
Born in Australia to Chinese parents, and raised in both Australia and Singapore, Sarita’s musical career has been similarly cosmopolitan. She has performed as a solo artist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, and as a featured soloist with the major orchestras of her native Australia. She has also been a prize-winner at the Kloster Schöntal, Gisborne, and Lipinsky/Wieniawski international competitions and has performed at the Aldeburgh, Pacific, Aix-en-Provence, and Norfolk music festivals.
An enthusiastic and committed chamber musician, Sarita was the founding first violinist of the Alianza Quartet, the former graduate quartet-in-residence at Yale University, whose “unusually elegant sound” was praised by The New York Times. Sarita regularly appears in recital with pianist Wei-Yi Yang, and she frequently performs chamber music with her husband, Boston Symphony cellist Alexandre Lecarme. Along with Lecarme, violinist Julie Eskar, and violist Ettore Causa, Sarita performs with the Arabella String Quartet, an ensemble quickly establishing a reputation for its remarkable artistry.
A popular and enthusiastically received performer, Sarita has appeared on chamber series and at festivals throughout the United States including Embassy Series (Washington, DC), Flagler Museum Series (Florida), Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music, Rockport Chamber Music Festival and in performances at Weill and Zankel recital halls, Merkin Concert Hall, Kitara Hall (Japan), Villa Medici (Italy), the Théâtre du Jeu de Paume, and Salle Olivier Messaien (France). Sarita’s broadcast appearances have included WGBH public radio, Radio Suisse Romande, and the ABC TV and Radio (Australia). She has also performed as a guest violinist with the award-winning piano quartet Ensemble Made in Canada and is an artist member of Mistral Music.
Sarita is a persuasive advocate of contemporary music and enjoys the challenge of championing new works. She has debuted works by composers Jerome Combier, Jean Giroud, and John B. Hedges, among others, and has collaborated extensively with Martin Bresnick and Ezra Laderman. With the Alianza Quartet she recorded Laderman’s last three string quartets for Albany Records to critical acclaim.
Sarita Kwok’s passion for performing is matched only by her commitment to education, and her analytic yet sensitive approach has made her a highly sought after teacher. The former director of the undergraduate lessons program at Yale, Sarita served for eight years on the faculty of the Yale Department of Music. She is currently chair of the music department at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where she is also a professor and resident artist. She has additionally taught master classes Wellesley and Amherst colleges and at the New Zealand School of Music, among others.
Sarita holds both Doctor and Master of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music, where she was a student of Syoko Aki and the Tokyo String Quartet. She performs on a violin from 1736 by Italian maker Johannes Florenus Guidantus.