“Working with Sarah Grace Williams was a great joy to me. She is a wonderful conductor and so caring of the soloist you know you are in excellent hands. Her musicality and discipline enables one to give of one’s best and I just loved working with her so much. Our collaboration on the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto was so exciting and satisfying, and that is truly a challenging work. I do hope to work with her more in the future.”
(David Helfgott, Pianist, 2012)
“Such a captivating performance at Angel Place of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no 3 with David Helfgott and The Metropolitan Orchestra. From the moment conductor Sarah-Grace Williams stepped on stage to conduct TMO, she commanded the best from the players and that’s what was presented. The communication and intimate understanding of this challenging work shared between Sarah-Grace and David was incredible. David’s phrasing, emotion and swells of the dynamics was flawless. David’s wife, Gillian told me after the performance that he had never related so well with a conductor before. The orchestra played with grace and poise, never distracted by their eccentric soloist. The Rach 3 is always a joyous piece to hear performed, but this performance took it to another level.”
(Sarah White, Sun Herald)
“As I sat there and listened to David Helfgott man at Angel Place with the Metropolitan Orchestra, I could see how important that his relationship with the conductor is strong, and indeed Sarah -Grace Willliams had the necessary sensitivity and generosity to create a wonderful collaboration on stage with David and the orchestra. At times I felt him going off into his own world, but almost immediately she would envelop him in her brushstrokes of music – her calligraphy of the air, and they would be united in a powerful expression of symphony and order. It was a very powerful experience for me to be at his concert – indeed I was moved to tears when Rachmaninoff III began. Watching him interacting with the orchestra and conductor was mesmerising.
This concert was spell binding – and the audience obviously felt the same way with a standing ovation at the end.
(Yantra de Wilder – Composer)
“Much entertainment royalty is involved in this newly commissioned work under the baton of Sarah-Grace Williams. She leads her instrumentalists
(Southern Cross Soloists) with Katie Noonan to perform the score impeccably”
“Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams took to the podium (with West Australian Symphony Orchestra) for pieces by De Falla and Ginastera. Her brisk competence
eliciting an exciting and gritty precision from the orchestra”
(West Australian Today, 2010)
“We are extremely honouredand proud to have engaged the association of the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra and Sarah-Grace Williams. Ms Sarah-Grace is not
only a brilliant conductor, she is a class act!
(Cambridge Events, 2011)
“Under the strict and inspirational influence of their highly-talented and charismatic conductor, Sarah-Grace Williams, the orchestra re-invigorated some of the well-trodden paths of the musical repertoire. I thought I already knew this work well, but it came alive with new insights; the tempi were exhilarating and the ensemble playing beautifully balanced”
“The playing of the music by the Southern Cross Soloists, conducted by Sarah-GraceWilliams, with singer Katie Noonan, is sublime, overflowing with passion, commitment and expertise”
“ I found the reading of the Lakme duet one of the best I have heard live- the voices were beautifully balanced, a perfect”barcarolle” tempo and just enough French rubato and romantic sensuality. Nicole Car and Sian Pendry with Sarah Grace conducting- bel canto!”
(Bel Canto, 2011)
“From the first opening chords from the full orchestra you knew this was going to be an exciting concert. … It is a pleasure to watch Sarah-GraceWilliams in action, the clarity of her directions to the players becomes an additional and visual component which enhances the overall experience of the concert. She has worked hard to create an orchestra that inspires its audiences with its sense of vitality and purpose. Throughout the concert I felt as if I was a part of the performing process and not merely a bystander, with all the excitement of being right in there and none of the responsibility! One might normally include criticism in a review for balance but from where I was sitting there was nothing to be picky about.”
“As Paul Kelly once sang, “from little things big things grow”. All major arts organisations start somewhere, usually with the passion and drive of one key person. I take my hat off to Sarah-Grace Williams and the entire Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra as they enter a fourth season while having built a very professional musical group. When The NRL came to me and asked if I could provide an orchestra for the 2011 Grand Final at ANZ Stadium, I had no hesitation in suggesting MCO, knowing it would deliver an enthusiastic and polished performance to the highest level in front of a massive live and television audience. This capability to deliver premium performances to any sized audience and appearing as anything from a small ensemble to a symphony sized orchestra is testament to the versatility of this important orchestra and the high standards they continuously achieve. I’m proud to be a patron of the orchestra and look forward to a fifth season and beyond.” (Guy Noble, ABC Presenter and Conductor/Patron of MCO)