Kirsten Williams, CSO Concertmaster

CSO Chamber Ensemble

Portrait of Kirsten Williams playing the violin
Kirsten Williams, CSO Concertmaster (Image: Martin Ollman)
One of Australia’s leading violinists, Kirsten Williams has performed widely as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, in concert and on ABC radio.

In 2019, she was appointed Concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, she led the Australian National University’s (ANU) Women in Music program.

Kirsten studied with Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium and with Igor Ozim in Switzerland. She then joined the Royal Opera House Orchestra at Covent Garden and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, touring and recording widely. On returning to Australia, Kirsten was appointed Associate Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has also appeared as guest Concertmaster of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Sydney Philharmonia and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. From 2000–2019, Kirsten was Associate Concertmaster with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

A dedicated teacher, Kirsten has a central role in the CSO’s Kingsland Pathways Program, leading the Canberra Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra for advanced players aged 12 to 19, and working with the Kingsland Fellows. She has also worked with the Sydney and Australian youth orchestras and has joined the teaching staff at the ANU’s School of Music.

Kirsten has a passion for music for healing: she has recorded two CDs for the Australian Bush Flower Essences and, in 2014, was named Volunteer of the Year for her work playing in the Intensive Care Unit at Westmead Children’s Hospital. That same year, she became patron of the Goulburn Strings Project, designed to bring music education to children in low-socioeconomic, regional contexts.

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