Marc Sabbah (1988, New York City) is a viola soloist, chamber musician, teacher and as of 2012 is the co-principal violist of the National Orchestra of Belgium. As of September 2017, Marc is a guest professor of viola 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 and was recently awarded the Grand Prix at the 2016 Rising Stars Grand Prix music competition performing solo on stage at the Berlin Philharmonic hall as well as his recent 1st Grand Prize at the Manhattan International Music Competition at Carnegie Hall. In 2013 Marc won 1st prize at the National Amsterdam Viola Competition. As an active soloist, Marc has performed the Walton Viola Concerto with the Symphonieorkest De Philharmonie in Amsterdam and Utrecht as well as Max Bruch double concerto with the Chamber Orchestra of Belgium (Casco Phil) and the National Orchestra of Belgium.
Marc has given baroque bow masterclasses in association with the Dutch Viola Society, masterclasses in association with the Athens State Orchestra as well as solo recitals and chamber music performances at the Delft Chamber Music Festival and the Utrecht Chamber Music Festival headed by violinist Janine Jansen. Marc regularly performs throughout Belgium and the Netherlands and is the founder of a new chamber music series in the heart of Brussels as well as a member of the artistic commission of BOHO strings.
Marc can be heard as a prominent soloist on the new CD by Terra Nova of Divertimenti by the 18th century Flemish composer Henri-Joseph De Croes. 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 Ukranian State Orchestra.
In 2011, Marc Sabbah performed with Ivry Gitlis at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland where he also collaborated with artists Ferenz Rados, Gabor Takacs Nagy, Lawrence Power, Kim Kashkashian, David Dolan, Maasaki Suzuuki. Other masterclasses and lessons include cellists Anner Bijlsma, Uzi Wiesel, Christine Walevska, violists Pinchas Zukerman, Jean Sulem, Paul Neubauer, and others.
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 with the Deutche-Skandinaviche Jugend Philharmonie as well as substituting with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (DeFilharmonie) in Antwerp, Belgium. Marc toured with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (Nederlands Kamer Orkest) with violinist Gordan Nikolic playing concerts at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and a recent 2017 tour in Finland.
Marc began his studies on violin at the age of 3 at the 3rd Street Music School in lower Manhattan, finishing his studies at the Lucy Moses School with teacher Mark Lakirovich. Mesmerized by the warmth of it’s 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 as a student of Kenji Bunch and Toby Appel.
Marc plays on a Leroy F. Geiger viola dated 1951 made in Chicago, USA.