As concerto finalist in the BBC Young Musician competition in 2002, Sarah Williamson gave a highly individual performance of the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis. She then 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. She has since made the Copland Concerto her own, culminating in the recent release of a highly acclaimed recording under the baton of David Curtis and the Orchestra of the Swan, a recording which also includes a winning performance of the Finzi Clarinet Concerto. According to Classical Music Magazine her Copland is "a convincing fusion of jazzy vitality and mellifluous tone" and "a perfect counterfoil is the anxiety-tinged lyricism of the Finzi."
Sarah was the featured "Rising Star" in BBC Music Magazine, "Hot Property" in Classic FM Magazine, cover artist in Classical Music Magazine, "G Spot" artist in Muso Magazine and the "One to Watch" in Gramophone and most recently front cover and feature article, again in Muso Magazine.
At the age of 15 Sarah won a scholarship to the Purcell School of Music to study with David Fuest, simultaneously attending the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. In 2001, Sarah won the Shell LSO Gerald McDonald Award and was awarded the Arthur Frederick Bulgin Medal by The Worshipful Company of Musicians. Sarah continued her studies at Le Conservatoire Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris with Pascal Moragues, principal clarinettist of the Orchestre de Paris, Jean-Francois Verdier and Olivier Derbesse, graduating with the Premier Prix and a Laureate, the highest honour.
Sarah has toured the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia for the British Council, USA, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Spain. She has performed at festivals across the UK and made her debuts at London's Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre and Royal Albert Hall. Currently based in Britain, Sarah also plays throughout Europe and made her debut in Japan in early 2010.
Sarah is active in the field of contemporary music: she has championed the music of Edward Longstaff who has written for her Prelude and Nocturne both premiered on BBC Radio 3, plus a Clarinet Concerto premiered in 2003. She has worked with Philip Grange and recorded his clarinet concerto Sheng Sheng Bu Shi with the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Great Britain, with a CD released in 2007. Joseph Phibbs has written for Sarah both a Clarinet Sonata, premiered at the Wigmore Hall, and a Clarinet Concerto which Sarah premiered at London's Cadogan Hall with the Orchestra of the Swan in 2009.
Other orchestral performances have included the Philharmonia, the Orchestra of St John's, a live performance with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Nielsen Concerto with the Brighton Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St Martins in the Fields, the City of London Sinfonia and most recently a tour of Cyprus with the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carlo Ponti Jr. Chamber concerts have included performances with the Sacconi, Doric and Carducci Quartets and with the Sally Pryce Ensemble.
Sarah is currently the recipient of the Tillett Trust and Kirkman Concert Society Awards.
"I play on Peter Eaton Internationals and would never change them for the world. Everyone wherever I go loves my Peter Eaton clarinets."
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