About Esther Williams

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Born and raised in London, Esther Williams began her musical journey at a young age, picking up the violin at four years old, opening up a lifelong passion to music. Fiercely independent and pro-active, she taught herself music theory, piano, guitar, recorder, alto saxophone and, by the time she was 16, was adept on eight instruments, including cor anglais, recorder (descant, treble and tenor), singing and the instrument that would define her journey: the oboe.  


Further advancing her talents, she studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, receiving tutelage from esteemed oboists such as John Anderson, Catriona Southall, Sarah-Jayne Porsmoguer, Murray (Sandy) Johnson and Gordon Hunt. Furthermore, Esther has participated in masterclasses from François Leleux, Sarah Francis, Ludovic Armin Cora, Albrecht Mayer, and is currently studying with the world-renowned oboist, Nicholas Daniel OBE.


Owing to her versatility as a performer and distinct emotive sound, she is a highly sought-after freelance player, and has professionally performed across the UK and Europe, encompassing musicals, operas, marching bands, solo and orchestral work. Esther balances her musical career with a role in Finance at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM). She also teaches at the Royal Hospital School, Richmond Music Trust, gives private tuition, and has a small reed making business.


Esther is currently a member of the Chineke! Orchestra, the first professional orchestra in Europe to be made up of 'majority' Black & ethnically diverse musicians, founded in 2015 by Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE. In addition to her performative duties, Esther also serves as a Woodwind Mentor for Chineke! Junior Orchestra, who recently reached the semi-finals on Britain's Got Talent 2020.


Striving for racial equality within the classical music industry, Esther has spoken on numerous platforms to spark unity, which recently include the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) Symposium 2020. She also sits as a committee member for Freelance Musicians for Musicians Union, British Double Reed Society, and RAM’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Access and Participation committees, with the ultimate aim of ensuring inclusivity for musicians from all ethnic backgrounds. As of 2022, Esther is now on the Board of Directors for IDRS as the Treasurer.


Continuing to expand her skills, Esther has undertaken her own research and has studied courses revolving around Black Classical Music composers/history. In addition, she is studying conducting with Tianyi Lu.  

In her spare time, Esther enjoys going to the gym, reading, hiking, swimming, boxing and painting.

©Ivan Weiss