Sally Walker is Lecturer in Classical Woodwind at the Australian National University, regular Guest Principal with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Principal Flautist with the Omega Ensemble and Artistic Director of the Twilight Musical Dialogues Chamber Music Series. She performs on modern flutes and piccolo as well as historical flutes and recorders and has appeared in the London Proms, Salzburg, Lucerne, Tanglewood and Edinburgh Festivals.
She was Grand-finalist in the Leonardo de Lorenzo International Flute Competition (Italy), won 2nd Prize in the Friedrich Kuhlau International Flute Competition (Germany) and was awarded prizes from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange for postgraduate study in Germany), Ian Potter Cultural Fund and the Queen's Trust.
She has toured and recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestras, is a former Principal Flute of the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, was a member of Kölner Kammerorchester and has performed as Guest Principal Flute with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, NDR Radio Philharmonie Hannover, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Manchester Camerata, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Sally devotes herself to both Early and Contemporary Music, having performed with Early Music ensembles such as Das Neue Orchester Köln, Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum and the Leipziger Kammerorchester as well as Contemporary Music ensembles such as Halcyon. She is deeply committed to chamber music and has collaborated with colleagues across various art forms and styles, including Tamara Anna-Cislowska, Aiko Goto, David Greco, Steven Isserlis, Ian Munro, Simon Tedeschi, Dénes Várjon, Shanghai and Acacia string quartets. She has recorded three CDs with Pianist Philip Mayers, was featured on Sally Whitwell’s Aria-nominated CD, “I was Flying”, Cyrus Meurant’s CD “Monday to Friday” and on recordings with Halycon, Australian Chamber Orchestra and other orchestras.
She enjoys collaborating with composers and has premiered works by Australian composers: David Banney, Marian Budos, Andrew Chubb, Andrew Ford, Sally Greenaway, Daniel Rojas, Paul Stanhope as well as Coco Nelegatti (Argentina) and Knut Müller (Germany). She has a long standing collaborative relationship with composer Elena Kats-Chernin and in 2015, commissioned Kats-Chernin to write her a flute concerto. With assistance from the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, “Night and Now” Flute Concerto was premiered with the Darwin Symphony conducted by Matthew Wood and has been performed a number of times subsequently, including at both the Australian and Swedish Flute Festivals. She has performed as Concerto soloist with orchestras including the Dortmund Philharmonic, Klassische Philharmonie Bonn, Accademia Filarmonica di Verona, Zelman Memorial Symphony, Queensland Youth Symphony and ANU “Side by Side” Chamber Orchestra.
As well as a performance career she works as an academic and has presented at the Performing Wellness and Musicological Society of Australia conferences, given pre concert talks for the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Musica Viva and worked as a German translator/interpreter.
Born in Canberra, Sally began her earliest musical training with Judith Clingan on recorder through the Kodály method and singing in Gaudeamus choral ensembles. She was accepted into the ANU School of Music at the age of twelve and completed the ANU Preparatory Course Diploma learning flute with Vernon Hill and Virginia Taylor. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Sydney studying flute with Geoffrey Collins and undertook private study with Timothy Hutchins in Canada. She completed Postgraduate study in Germany, receiving the Artist’s Diploma from the Hanover Hochschule für Music und Medien as a student of Prof. Andrea Lieberknecht and completed her Masters at the Munich Hochschule für Musik und Theater as a student of Prof. András Adorján. She is undertaking a Doctor of Musical Arts with the Early Music Unit of the University of Sydney, exploring a modern Flautist’s Perspective on the Process of Learning Early Flutes and their Literature, supervised by Neal Peres Da Costa, Alan Maddox and Hans-Dieter Michatz.
"Flautist Sally Walker was very much at ease within the work’s three-movements, presenting a wide variety of moods and colours, revelling particularly in the rapturous soliloquy that is the cadenza prefacing the third movement’s vigorous tarantella. Soloist and composer then joined together for a well-received encore". (Limelight September 2017)
"Preceding the symphony, Sally Walker eloquently fronted a flute concerto by Elena Kats-Chernin". (Sydney Morning Herald September 2017)
"Sally Walker’s commanding solo presence was evident throughout, in partnership with conductor Shiell and the orchestra, and was greeted with an enthusiastic audience reception". (Classic Melbourne September 2017)
"The orchestration also allowed for some beautiful moments – a heartbeat accompaniment was given vibrant life in celli and bass pizzicati, while Walker’s flute took the opening solo melody of the second movement, floating above the strings with a sweet, transparent sound". (Limelight September 2017)