S1. E7. Amy Williams
Dec. 2, 2020
Composer Amy Williams joins us to discuss her youth surrounded by amazing composers and performers in her living room and her early professional years embarking on crazy projects like transcribing Conlon Nancarrow’s music for piano four-hands with her duo partner Helena Bugallo. She speaks with us about collaborating closely with and tailoring commissions to specific performers and ensembles. We also chat about her role as Artistic Director of New Music on the Point, where she connects superstar performers and composers with young emerging artists, fostering collaborations lasting many years.
ABOUT AMY WILLIAMS
The compositions of Amy Williams have been presented at renowned contemporary music venues in the United States, Australia, Asia and Europe, including Thailand International Composition Festival, Ars Musica (Belgium), Gaudeamus Music Week (Netherlands), Dresden New Music Days (Germany), Musikhøst (Denmark), Festival Aspekte (Austria), Festival Musica Nova (Brazil), Roulette and Bargemusic (New York), LA County Museum of Art, Piano Spheres (Los Angeles) and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. Her works have been performed by leading contemporary music soloists and ensembles, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Aleph, Dal Niente, Wet Ink, Talujon, Empyrean Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, California E.A.R. Unit, Dinosaur Annex, International Contemporary Ensemble, h2 Saxophone Quartet, Bent Frequency, pianists Ursula Oppens, Corey Hamm and Amy Briggs, and bassist Robert Black. Her pieces appear on the Albany, Parma, VDM (Italy), Blue Griffin, Centaur and New Ariel labels. As a member of the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, Ms. Williams has performed at important new music festivals and series throughout Europe and the Americas. The Duo has recorded four critically-acclaimed CDs for Wergo (works of Nancarrow, Stravinsky, Varèse/Feldman and Kurtág), as well as appearing on the Neos and Albany labels. Ms. Williams was the recipient of a Howard Foundation Fellowship for 2008-2009, a Fromm Music Foundation Commission in 2009 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015-2016. Ms. Williams has taught at Bennington College and Northwestern University and is currently Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the Artistic Director of the New Music on the Point Festival in Vermont.
For more information about Amy Williams, please visit her at her website.
LISTEN & LEARN:
The musical excerpts heard in this episode were composed by Conlon Nancarrow and Amy Williams and performed by the Bugallo-Williams Duo and the JACK Quartet.
Additional Resources: George Lewis, A Power Stronger than Itself