French-born Zoé Saubat obtained her Music Diploma from the Conservatoire of Bayonne at the age of 15 before moving to study at the Conservatoire of Paris, simultaneously achieving a bachelor’s degree in literature from Sorbonne University.
Zoé subsequently moved to London and studied at the Royal College of Music of London (RCM) with Alexander Boyarsky, winning second prize in the RCM Cello Competition. During her studies, Zoé has worked with numerous world-renowned teachers including Philippe Muller, Roland Pidoux, Emmanuelle Bertrand and Xavier Gagnepain amongst many others.
A keen orchestral musician, Zoé is a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra scheme and was regularly the leader of the cello section in the RCM Philharmonic Orchestra, String Band and Symphonic Orchestra, performing at Buckingham Palace as leader of the RCM Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, Zoé performed Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto with the London City Orchestra in 2013 and was part of the Rising Stars Concert Series at Cadogan Hall.
Zoé won first prize at the UFAM competition in Paris and has participated in many festivals, including Académie Ravel, Festival de Prades, Les Arcs, les Rencontres Musicales de Saint-Cézaire and Festival Artenetra.
Zoé is a versatile cellist, passionate in all aspects of her art: particularly interested in contemporary music and creation, Zoé has worked with composers Philippe Hersant and Edith Canat de Chizy, and was part of contemporary dance creation La Follia with Compagnie Chantier, which toured France for one year.
Zoé is a Greenbank Scholar and is also supported by Help Musicians UK Postgraduate Award.
What or who inspired you to become a professional musician?
I fell in love with music from a very young age. My parents brought me to concerts a lot when I was a kid and the first time I came to a music school, I didn’t know any instruments except piano, but the class was full so I had to do something else. The first instrument I saw was the cello: my first teacher made me put my hand on the body of the instrument while she was playing and I could feel the vibrations of the instrument in my whole body. I instantly decided to do this for the rest of my life.
What’s on your playlist right now?
I love all kind of music so my playlist is very wide. Now, I’m listening a lot of Rachmaninov, Mahler, Messiaen and Bach. I also listen to a lot of gypsy music (bands such as The Turbans and Les Yeux Noirs), flamenco, Buena Vista Social Club…
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us
I have a degree in French literature from the Sorbonne University.
Street art is one of my passions: I always have my camera with me to be able to take pictures of graffiti.