Praised by New York critic Harris Goldsmith for her ‘impeccable soloistic authority’ and ‘dazzling performances’, American pianist Heidi Louise Williams has appeared in solo and collaborative performances across North America and internationally. Her engagements have included recitals at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Taiwan National Recital Hall in Taipei, the Kennedy Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Brevard Music Festival, the French Embassy in Washington D.C., and festivals in France and Italy. She has given multiple guest artist residencies in leading conservatories and universities in Taiwan and China and has presented lecture-recitals and performances at national and international conferences held by the Society of American Music, the College Music Society, and the International Clarinet Association. Her playing has been featured on WFMT Chicago, Classic 99 St. Louis, WQLN Pennsylvania, and KUAT Tucson radio stations, on WWFM Trenton, New Jersey for David Dubal’s ‘The Piano Matters’, and on classical stations throughout Taiwan and Canada.
Williams is actively involved in the promotion of new music and has worked with many distinguished composers. Her 2011 Albany Records solo album, Drive American, was named among the top ten classical albums of 2011 in the Philadelphia City Paper, featured in Fanfare’s 2012 Critics’ Want Lists, and has been described as ‘veritably operatic’, ‘bold yet thoughtful’, ‘unflappable’, ‘provocative and stimulating’ (Fanfare), possessing ‘…the muscularity and poetic power to bring this demanding repertory to life’ (American Record Guide). Her 2019 Albany Records solo release Beyond the Sound, featuring sonatas by Griffes, Walker, Floyd, and Barber, was selected twice for inclusion in the 2020 Fanfare Critics’ Want Lists, garnering the headline by British music critic Colin Clarke: “Brilliant programming meets performances of fire meets excellent recording meets superb documentation: this is a significant release from all angles.” An avid chamber musician, Williams has collaborated with numerous outstanding American and international artists. Other recording projects for Albany Records include her award-winning 2018 release with soprano Mary Mackenzie, Vocalisms, a 2-disc album devoted to premiere recordings of American Art Songs by Crozier, Harbison, Primosch and Rorem; and Conversa, an album of North and South American cello-piano duos including a World Premiere by André Mehmari, released in December 2021 with cellist Gregory Sauer. Her playing has been published in the Modern Classical American Songbook Volume I. She has also recorded for the Naxos, Centaur and Neos labels.
Recipient of both a 2020 Undergraduate Teaching Award and a 2020 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award from Florida State University, Williams joined the FSU College of Music in 2007. Her growing roster of graduate and undergraduate students have won prizes regionally, nationally, and internationally in both solo and collaborative contexts. They have earned awards to pursue graduate and artist diploma degrees at prestigious institutions including the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Michigan among others, and they are actively gaining employment in recognized teaching and performing roles both in the U.S. and abroad. Williams completed her BM, MM, and DMA degrees at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, where she studied with Ann Schein and coached chamber music with Earl Carlyss, Samuel Sanders, Stephen Kates, and Robert McDonald. Prior to this, she studied with William Phemister at Wheaton College, where she later taught as his sabbatical replacement. She is artist-faculty for the MasterWorks Music Festival, has served as festival pianist for the Sunriver Music Festival, and has also taught and performed at the Interharmony International Music Festival and Csehy Chamberfest in Philadelphia.
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