|This biographical article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2010)|
Sarah Class (born 31 May 1979) is an English composer, singer and songwriter. Described by HMV Classical Reviews magazine as 'one of Britain's brightest young musical stars', Her style is both "hauntingly ethereal and sensual, mingling folky influences and a powerfully romantic blend of orchestral and electronic sonorities". She is now one of Britain's most sought-after young composers.
Class was born in London. Having written music and poetry from an early age and performing as a vocalist and pianist in bands since she was a teenager, Class found her inspiration in the lush woodlands, rolling hills and seascapes of the Isle of Wight.
Growing up on a nature reserve on the north of the island, Class was encouraged and inspired by her musical and nature conservationist father. Class developed a deep regard for the environment, only matched by her love of a good melody, singing and songwriting. It has been this spiritual backdrop to her formative years which has profoundly influenced her music, whether it be a score for a film, or lyrically driven song.
Class graduated with a BA (Hons) in music and art from Chichester University, Sussex, England, and immediately thereafter, began to write extensively in Europe and North America on a number of album, TV and film projects, notably the score for the independent feature The Weekend in 1999, starring Gena Rowlands and Brooke Shields. This brought Class's talent to the attention of the record producer Sir George Martin, who took her under the wing of his publishing company George Martin Music.
During this time Class established herself as a prolific contemporary composer, her works being premiered both in the UK and abroad. In 2001, Warner Classics asked Class to provide all the music for their crossover album success, Aurora-Cantamus. The album enjoyed a Top 5 status in the UK for several weeks following its release, gaining a Classical BRIT Best Album nomination.
Class's achievements also include the triple platinum album Pure, for Decca artiste Hayley Westenra in 2003, produced by Giles Martin. Class wrote two tracks, including "Across The Universe of Time", which was the title track on the European release. The album enjoyed a reception in Australasia, and charted at No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart over a three-month period.
In 2005, Class toured and recorded as a jazz pianist and vocalist with Helen J Hicks's band, 'The Honeyriders' on their album Letting The Light In. The tour included live performances at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho and the Cannes Film Festival. Class also took part in a European tour with BBC Radio 3's Senegalese group 'Suuf' as a keyboard player. Her work with Martin continued through her ongoing collaboration with Eimear Quinn, winner of 1996 Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland. This project combines Quinn's ethereal vocals with Class's filmscape arrangements. One of the songs, "Another Day" was featured on Quinn's 2006 release, Gatherings.
Class recently ventured fully into the popular music scene for the first time, with the release of her debut solo EP "A New Dawn", through Glorious Technicolour Records. Written and produced by Class (with collaborations on the production of some tracks), the EP blended together aspects of various genres including pop, folk, acoustic and world music.
Class's TV credits include numerous projects for the BBC, LWT, Channel 4, Disney, and The Discovery Channel. Her relationship with the BBC is particularly long-standing and Class has written scores for some of their natural history films. Particularly, the environmental sequel to The Blue Planet – Deep Trouble, The Greatest Show on Earth (A Millennium special) and the soundtrack for the flagship David Attenborough series, The State of the Planet in 2000. The score also featured Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits making a guest appearance on guitar. Her score for this was nominated for an EMMY Award.
A recent and outstanding score among Class's credits is for film The Meerkats in 2009, a Weinstein/BBC/Yaffle Films production directed by James Honeyborne. The soundtrack featured vocals from Class and an African choir with full orchestra. The film won the 2009 Silver Teton Award at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
- "Suden Arvoitus (aka Mystery of the Wolf)”
- "L'ennemi naturel”
- "Harry Potter (DVD Release)”
- "The Weekend”
- "Africa" (6 Part series)
- "Madagascar" (3 Part series)
- "Blitz Street" (4 part series)
- "Time Team – Henry VIII's Lost Palaces”
- "Thames Shipwrecks – A Race Against Time”
- "Trial & Retribution”
- "Inside Extraordinary Humans: Science of Conjoined Twins”
- “The Kindness of Strangers”
- “The Commander: Blacklight”
- “Animal Forensics (6 part series)”
- “World’s Worst Century”
- “Children of Abraham”
- “The Black Death"
- “The Commander”
- “Peregrine – Top Gun of the Sky”
- “Abused and Catholic”
- “Heroes of Ground Zero”
- “The Day I Died”
- “Dogfight – Who Killed The Red Baron?”
- “Beasts on the Street”
- “The Blue Planet – Deep Trouble (ep.9)”
- “State of the Planet (3 part series)”
- “The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth”
- “Wilderness Men”
- “Grüne Inseln im steinernen Meer”
- “Equinox – Talking With Aliens”
- “Born to be Wild (with Nicholas Lyndhurst)”
- “Soca – Der smaragdene Fluß (aka Soca – The Emerald River)”
- “Consumed by Fire”
- “A New Dawn (singer/songwriter)”
- “Hayley Westenra – Treasure (writer)”
- “Mystery of the Wolf – Soundtrack (singer/songwriter)”
- “Eimear Quinn – Gatherings (writer)”
- “They Call Me Hansi – Across the Universe of Time (writer/producer/remix)”
- “Hayley Westenra – Pure (Writer, Arranger)”
- “Suuf – Debbo Hande (pianist/writer)”
- “Cantamus – Aurora (producer/writer, arranger)”