Amy Williams, composer

Amy Williams headshot

Amy Williams is a composer of music that is “simultaneously demanding, rewarding and fascinating” (Buffalo News), “fresh, daring and incisive” (Fanfare). Her works have been presented at renowned international contemporary music venues, including the Thailand International Composition Festival, Ars Musica (Belgium), Gaudeamus Music Week (Netherlands), Luzerne Festival (Switzerland), Dresden New Music Days, Festival Aspekte (Austria), Festival Musica Nova (Brazil), Whitney Museum, Roulette, Bargemusic (New York), LA County Museum of Art, Piano Spheres (Los Angeles) and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. They have been performed by leading contemporary music soloists and ensembles, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Aleph, Dal Niente, Talujon, Bent Frequency, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), H2 Saxophone Quartet, pianist Ursula Oppens and bassist Robert Black. Her pieces appear on the Parma, VDM (Italy), Blue Griffin, Centaur and New Ariel labels and there are two portrait CDs of her solo and chamber works& on the Albany label.

As a member of the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, Ms. Williams has performed throughout Europe and the Americas, including the Ojai Festival, CAL Performances, Miller Theatre, Musica Contemporanea Ciclos de Conciertos (Buenos Aires), Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico City), Warsaw Autumn, Cologne Triennale, and Wittener Täge für Neue Kammermusik. The Duo’s debut CD of Conlon Nancarrow's complete music for solo piano and piano duet (Wergo, 2004) has garnered much critical acclaim. Wergo released subsequent CDs, including the music of Stravinsky (2007 and 2018), Morton Feldman and Edgard Varèse (2009), and György Kurtág (2015). Their recording of the Bartók Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion was released in a monograph by the Paul Sacher Foundation in 2018. Ms. Williams has also recorded for Mode, Albany, Beauport and Hat-Art. She is the recipient of a Howard Foundation Fellowship for 2008-2009, a Fromm Music Foundation Commission (2009) and a Koussevitsky Foundation Commission for an upcoming work for the JACK Quartet and soprano Tony Arnold. She was named a 2015-2016 Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition, winner of the 2016 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Ireland for 2017-2018.

Ms. Williams holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University at Buffalo, where she also received her Master's degree in piano performance. She has taught at Bennington College (1997-2000) and Northwestern University (2000-2005) and is currently Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Pittsburgh. An avid proponent of contemporary music, she served as Assistant Director of June In Buffalo, Director of New Music Northwestern, and is currently on the Artistic Boards of the Pittsburgh-based concert series, Music on the Edge, and the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music. She is Artistic Director of the New Music on the Point Festival in Vermont.