Sarah Walker began her musical life as a violinist at the Royal College of Music and subsequently studied singing with Vera Rozsa, with whom she has built up a wide repertoire ranging from Bach and Monteverdi to 20th century works by composers such as Berio, Boulez, Cage, Henze, Ligeti, Copland and Ives.
Miss Walker is much in demand on the concert platform worldwide, where she has worked with Ozawa, Davis, Mackerras, Solti, Norrington, Boulez, Rozhdestvensky, Tilson-Thomas, Masur, Harnoncourt and Rattle. She appears regularly with the major British orchestras, and at the major British and European festivals. She was a memorable soloist at the Last Night of the Proms and sang under the late Leonard Bernstein in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Berlin to celebrate the opening of the Berlin Wall (televised worldwide and recorded by Deutsche Grammophon). She is closely associated with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she has performed Baba the Turk The Rake’s Progress (recorded for Decca), Charlotte Werther, Mrs Sedley Peter Grimes, Sallinen’s The King Goes Forth To France, Maxwell-Davies’ Taverner, Le nozze di Figaro and Handel’s Samson. With English National Opera her many roles include Mary Stuart, Charlotte, the Countess Queen of Spades, Cornelia Julius Caesar (recorded for EMI and for video), Britten’s Gloriana (also on video) and Katisha in The Mikado. She has sung Dido Les Troyens at the Vienna State Opera, Cornelia in Geneva, Ottavia and Cornelia in San Francisco, Magdalene in Chicago and Cornelia and Micah at the Metropolitan Opera. Her Glyndebourne debut was as Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto and she has since sung Monteverdi’s Ottavia, Penelope and Poppea.
Sarah Walker has perhaps received the greatest critical acclaim for her recitals. Since the overwhelming success of her Wigmore Hall debut she has visited all the major European cities and Festivals, the USA, Australia and New Zealand and has made numerous recordings. In recent seasons Sarah Walker has sung Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for the Monte Carlo Opera and for the Teatro La Zarzuela, Madrid; Mistress Quickly for Scottish Opera and at the San Carlo in Lisbon; Mrs Sedley in Geneva, Brussels, the Chatelet, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala Milan and for E.M.I. under Haitink; Romeo et Juliette at Covent Garden and for B.M.G. under Slatkin; Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin at the Chatelet and for Philips Classics under Bychkov; La Fille du Regimentand Der Rosenkavalier (under Kleiber) at the Metropolitan Opera, Mme de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmelites in Cagliari, Adelaide Arabella at the Chatelet, Paris and Hansel and Gretel at the Accademia Santa Cecilia, Rome. She sang Peter Grimes for both the Monnaie and the Royal Opera.
Sarah Walker was made a CBE in the 1991 Queen’s Birthday Honours.