Born in Maryland, USA
Member since 2001-09-01
Berlin Philharmonic Association (confraternity)
»My dream came true in September 2001 when I joined the Berlin Philharmonic as a horn player – and as the orchestra’s first-ever female brass player!«
“The horn is for boys”, her schoolteacher told her, and so he suggested that she learn the flute or the oboe. That remark served as a challenge to the US-born Brit, who grew up in Tokyo, Boston, Moscow and England and had her first horn lessons at the age of 14. After studying for three years on the Performer's Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, she put the finishing touches on her training with Fergus McWilliam in Berlin.
From 1999 to 2001 she was a member of the Staatskapelle Berlin and became the first female brass player to be accepted into the ranks of the Berlin Philharmonic in 2001. Sarah Willis has performed with other leading orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic and has appeared as a soloist all over the world.
Sarah is involved in many education projects of the Berliner Philharmoniker and enjoys creating and presenting some oft the Family Concerts. She also interviews conductors and soloists for the Digital Concert Hall. In 2011 she presented live to 33 million viewers during the Final Concert of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra in Sydney, Australia. She has recorded various acclaimed CDs including works by Johannes Brahms and Antonio Rosetti.