A Churchill Fellow, Sarah-Grace Williams is the Founding Artistic Director & Chief Conductor of The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO), Principal Conductor for the Australian and New Zealand ‘Synthony’ tour.
Boasting an impressive conducting career, Sarah-Grace has also conducted the Queensland, Adelaide, West Australian, Tasmanian and Perth Symphony Orchestras, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Bangalow Festival Orchestra, Queensland Music Festival Orchestra, Southern Cross Orchestra, and the Synthony Orchestra amongst others. Additionally, she is the Artistic Director of the Aspire International Youth Music Festival and has held positions as Musical Director of the Sydney Opera House Babies Proms, Stager Conductor at the Ukraine National Opera and Ballet Theatre and Conducting Fellow of the Australian Ballet. Most recently, Sarah-Grace was the Music Director and Conductor for Sydney Opera House’s production of Amadeus, starring Michael Sheen.
Since founding TMO in 2009, Sarah-Grace has received much acclaim and admiration for her accomplishments with the orchestra and has conducted them in more than 550 concerts, album recordings and national and international tours. Under Sarah-Grace’s direction, TMO has become recognised as one of Australia’s most versatile orchestras, with their annual seasons including a variety of events tailored to different demographics, from their highly acclaimed Met Concert, Cushion Concert and Chamber Concert series, development programs for composers, conductors and performers, outreach concerts for newly arrived refugees and free community events. Sarah-Grace has led the establishment of TMO’s Young Artist, Conductor and Composer Development Programs, and has championed the commissioning of numerous world premieres by TMO over the past decade.
Sarah-Grace enjoys a diverse conducting portfolio, performing in a variety of genres including mainstage symphonic concerts, concerts with film, ballet, opera, cross-over performances with hip-hop, rock and pop artists, multi-media installations, stadium events, album recordings and more. Recent conducting highlights include the Australian and New Zealand concert tours of Basement Jaxx and Air Supply, plus Jurassic Park Live with Film. She has also collaborated with a formidable list of renowned artists such as José Carreras, Elaine Paige, Jack Liebeck, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Sir Dave Dobbin, Lisa Gasteen, Anthony Warlow, James Morrison, Katie Noonan, Deborah Conway, Kate Ceberano, David Helfgott and John Farnham, amongst others.
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), being 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 talent leading the way for women conductors all over the world’.
Listed in the Who’s Who of Australian Women since 2011, Sarah-Grace received her Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 1998, before continuing conducting studies in Russia. She feels privileged to have had Alexander Polishchuk (Russia) and Johannes Fritzsch (Australia) as her primary conducting mentors.
Her proudest achievement to date is the birth of her daughter Scarlett Grace in 2014, with her husband and TMO Managing Director, Bevan Rigato.