As principal oboist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sarah Jeffrey is one of the top players of her instrument in North America.
She has also performed concertos and chamber music, and is an important educator in Canada.
Jeffrey was born in Toronto. From 1993 to 1995 she played in the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, later recalling that "TYWO taught me that practicing is fun! This is an incredibly important lesson to a budding professional." She attended the University of Toronto as an undergraduate, studying with former Toronto Symphony principal oboist Richard Dorsey and winning a Chalmers Award from the Ontario Arts Council. Jeffrey went on to the New England Conservatory in Boston, studying with Laura Ahlbeck and earning a master's degree. Out of school, she joined the Paragon Winds, and this group won the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Pasadena, California, in 2000. Jeffrey landed principal oboe positions with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, where she performed the Concerto for oboe and English horn of Quebec composer Jacques Hétu. She became the Toronto Symphony's principal oboist in the 2005-2006 season.
Jeffrey teaches oboe at the University of Toronto and The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory. Jeffrey has appeared as a soloist not only in Toronto but also in other major Canadian cities, performing most of the top repertory concertos as well as contemporary works by Marjan Mozetich, Erik Ross, and Ronald Royer, commissioning the last two. In addition to Paragon Winds, Jeffrey has been a member or guest artist with the Amici Chamber Ensemble, Trio Arkel, and the ARC Ensemble. In 2018 she was featured on a Chandos label recording of concertos by Ralph Vaughan Williams, playing that composer's oboe concerto with the Toronto Symphony and conductor Peter Oundjian.