One of a pair of violin-playing Romanian-French sisters -- Deborah Nemtanu is her younger sibling -- Sarah Nemtanu has become a fixture of the French orchestral scene thanks to her solo appearances with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, where she served as joint concertmaster for many years.
She has made duo concerto appearances with Deborah Nemtanu but has maintained an independent career. Sarah Nemtanu was born in Romania in 1981 and shortly after that immigrated with her family to France, where her father, Vladimir Nemtanu, had taken a post of principal violin of the Bordeaux Aquitaine National Orchestra. Sarah had her first lessons with her father. In 1993 she was heard by Gérard Poulet, professor of violin at the Paris Conservatoire, and began taking lessons with him. She was admitted to the Conservatoire in 1997, studying with Poulet (violin) and Pierre-Laurent Aimard (chamber music), and winning top prizes at graduation in both fields. Nemtanu began to concertize regularly in Paris and won the Maurice Ravel First Prize at the Saint-Jean-de-Luz competition in 1998 and third prize at the Antonio Stradivarius competition in 2001. By that time she had already made her formal debut in the Brahms Double Concerto, Op. 102, with Gautier Capuçon, under the baton of Emmanuel Krivine, in December of 2000. Nemtanu performed a concert in 2002 under conductor Kurt Masur with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and was subsequently named as joint concertmaster and as featured soloist; the latter was a position also held by her sister. Since then, Nemtanu has performed under such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, and Riccardo Muti, and has performed, among other places, at Century Hall in Tokyo and Carnegie Hall in New York. Nemtanu's recording career began in 2000 with Gypsic, a collaboration with Canadian crossover experimentalist Chilly Gonzales. She has recorded for Naïve and Naxos; the latter album was a compilation of concertos by Lebanese composer Bechara El Khoury. Sarah and Deborah Nemtanu recorded several albums together in the 2010s: Bach and Schnittke double concertos for Naïve, Bartók's 44 Duos for Decca, and, in 2018, the Martinu Concerto for two violins and orchestra, H. 329, for PentaTone Classics.