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Sarah Willis

Sarah Willis (horn) , Great Britain


Born in Maryland, USA
Horn Member of the Berlin Philharmonic since 01.09.2001

"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 in England, Germany, Italy and Asia.

She plays in various chamber ensembles including Divertimento Berlin and the Berlin Philharmonic Brass Ensemble and is also involved in Zunkunft@BPhil, the orchestra's education program. In her free time Sarah enjoys dancing salsa!