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Sarah-Grace Williams

Conductor

A Churchill Fellow boasting a remarkable local and international conducting career, Sarah-Grace Williams has conducted more than 300 performances over the past six years, including appearances with the Queensland, Adelaide, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Bangalow Festival Chamber Orchestra, Queensland Music Festival, Southern Cross Soloists and Artists of Opera Australia amongst others. She held the position of Musical Director of the Sydney Opera House Babies Proms 2007 to 2013 and worked as Stager Conductor at the Ukraine National Opera & Ballet Theatre and Conducting Fellow with the Australian Ballet in 2011.

Throughout her impressive tenure as founding Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of The Metropolitan Orchestra (since 2009) Sarah-Grace Williams has been continually celebrated for her interpretation by the press: 
“In the hands of Williams this work became a tour de force of exceptional poise, eloquence and atmosphere” (Sydney Arts Guide)… “Williams succeeds in creating very pioneering and open soundscapes, creating an attractive new interpretative world” (Arts Hub)…"Outstanding conductor, Williams, is able to draw out the
musicality in each player and weld them into a wonderful orchestra with a great sound” (Paul Nolan). Performance highlights with TMO include Symphonies of Brahms (complete cycle), Shostakovich (#1, #9 & #10), Mahler (#1), Sibelius (#2 & #3), Beethoven (#1 to #8), Dvorak (#7, #8 & #9), Rachmaninoff (#2, Symphonic
Dances), Tchaikovsky (#4, #5 & #6), Schubert (complete cycle) Mendelssohn (#1, #4, #5), Elgar’s Enigma Variations and numerous world premieres.

Sarah-Grace has received constant recognition for her significant achievements including being awarded the 2017 Western Sydney University Alumni Chancellors Leadership Award (the highest honour the awards bestow), announced on the 2013 International Women’s Day Honour Roll for her outstanding achievements and
contribution to the community while also being hailed by Limelight Magazine to be amongst ‘10 of the Best Women Conductors – trailblazing talents that are leading the way for women conductors all over the world’. During 2009-10 Sarah-Grace was Assistant Conductor for Symphony Australia. At the conclusion of this posting, she was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, allowing her to study and work with renowned orchestras and conductors throughout Europe and the UK. She has collaborated with an impressive list of with internationally renowned artists including José Carreras, Elaine Paige, Jack Liebeck, Lisa Gasteen, Anthony Warlow, James Morrison, Katie Noonan, Kate Ceberano, David Helfgott, John Farnham, amongst others. A great supporter of new Australia works, she has also conducted and commissioned numerous world premieres and album recordings.

Listed in the annual Who’s Who of Australian Women since 2011, Sarah-Grace received her Bachelor of Music with Distinction in 1996, followed by a First Class Honours in Conducting, before continuing conducting studies overseas with Alexander Polishchuk (Russia). In addition to her continued leadership of TMO, Sarah-Grace currently lectures in conducting at the Australian Institute of Music and is the conductor of the institute’s Chamber Orchestra. She recently name as Ambassador for the Aspire International Youth Music Festival, has worked as a guest radio presenter for various stations including ABC Classic FM and continues to work as a freelance clarinetist, pianist and orchestrator.