Sarah Williamson is renowned as a virtuoso clarinettist whose talent has been recognised by concert-goers and critics alike. BBC Music Magazine wrote: ‘A tenacious player like Williamson doesn’t need gimmicks – her sonorous timbre and natural musicality speak for themselves.’ The Independent hailed her as a ‘superb player’; and The Telegraph praised Sarah’s ‘blend of languor and exuberance.’
The International Stage
As a soloist, Sarah has performed at many of the world’s major concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, The Wigmore Hall, The South Bank Centre, The Berlin Concerthaus, The Tonhalle Zurich, The Theatre des Champs-Elysèes Paris, The Suntory Hall and NHK Hall, Japan.
Sarah has performed and toured extensively with The Academy of St Martins in the Fields, The City of London Sinfonia, the BBC Concert orchestra, the LSO, BBC Concert Orchestra (broadcast live), The European Union Chamber Orchestra, The Brighton Philharmonic, The Royal Philharmonic (Classic FM live broadcast) and the Orchestra of the Swan.
Education & Achievements
Sarah achieved international fame following her success in the BBC Young Musician Competition 2002, first as Woodwind Division winner, then as Concerto Finalist when Sarah gave a highly individual performance of the piece with which she is most frequently associated, the Copland Clarinet Concerto, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Sarah went on to win second prize in the Eurovision Competition for Young Musicians in Berlin, again playing the Copland Concerto, this time with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marek Janowsky.
Sarah continued her studies at Le Conservatoire Superieur de Musique et de Dance de Paris, graduating with the Premier Prix and where she was awarded a ‘Laureate’, the Conservatoire’s highest honour in recognition of her reflecting her ability and musicality.
Sarah’s budding talent was previously recognised by the award of the Shell LSO Gerald McDonald Award and the Arthur Frederick Bulgin Medal by The Worshipful Company of Musicians. As a performer, Sarah was the winner of the Tillett Trust and Kirkman Concert Society Awards.
Sarah is recognised as a leading interpreter of the Copland Concerto, a recording of which on the Somm label was recently played on ‘Building a Library’ on BBC Radio 3. Sarah is also active in the field of contemporary music: she has championed the music of Edward Longstaff who has written a ‘Prelude’ and ‘Nocturne’ specially for Sarah, both of which were premiered on BBC Radio 3, in addition to a clarinet concerto. She has also worked with Philip Grange and recorded his clarinet concerto. Sarah commissioned a new piece by Joseph Phibbs, ‘Arc de Soleil,’ which was premiered at the Wigmore Hall, and is currently championing the works of Graham Fitkin and the Beniamin Baczewski Clarinet Concerto.
“A tenacious player like Williamson doesn’t need gimmicks – her sonorous timbre and natural musicality speak for themselves”
BBC Music Magazine
“A Superb Player”
“A blend of languor and exuberance”