While her repertory has been fairly eclectic, Sara Davis Buechner has become best known for her interpretations of early jazz and light music by American composers. Thus, one finds in her discography much Gershwin, Rudolf Friml, Dana Suesse, Stephen Foster, rags of Joseph Lamb, and works by film composers Alex North, Bernard Herrmann, and Miklós Rósza. Yet, Buechner's repertory also takes in healthy doses of J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Busoni, and of the one hundred concertos she plays listeners encounter enormous variety, from Bach and the Baroque to Bartók and beyond. Buechner has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan, and performed with the major orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, San Francisco, St. Louis, and many more. Buechner has made numerous recordings, many of them available from Connoisseur Society, eOne, and Naxos.
Sara Davis Buechner was born in Baltimore, MD in 1959 and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Juilliard, and a doctorate at the Manhattan School of Music. Teachers included Rudolf Firkusny, Byron Janis, Ann Schein, Beveridge Webster, and other notables.
Buechner won first prize at the 1984 Salt Lake City-based Gina Bachauer Competition, and then captured the Bronze medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. By the early 1990s she was a major presence on the international scene. In 1994 Buechner's Connoisseur Society disc of the solo version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Second Rhapsody, and other Gershwin works received a Recording of the Month award from the prestigious Stereophile magazine.
Two of her more notable albums would appear shortly: the complete works of Rózsa (1999), on Koch International, and the complete works of Stephen Foster (2002), on Pro Piano.
From 2003, Buechner has served on the faculty at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, having earlier taught at the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In the new century she has also been engaged in presenting master classes in piano performance in the U.S., U.K., Japan, and elsewhere.
Buechner's 2009 Koch International disc, Jazz Nocturne, helped revive the reputation of the little know female composer Dana Suesse. Buechner's 2010-2011 concert schedule included appearances with the major orchestras of Detroit, London, Montreal, San Francisco, and New York.