Biography

Nathan WilliamsonA superb recital… Unerring mastery… Bryce Morrison, International Piano Quarterly

Williamson understands the mould-breaking environment of this repertory, and offers committed insight. Ateş Orga, Classical Source

Nathan Williamson is a pianist, composer and artistic director. Alongside regular solo, chamber and concerto performances, Nathan is in demand for new work from a wide variety of artists both at home and abroad. He also stages and facilitates projects at local and national level, ranging from collaborations on new repertoire, performances for the theatre and concert hall, and outreach work for musicians of all ages and abilities.

Nathan has performed at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, De Doelen, Barbican Centre, Purcell Room, and the Aldeburgh, Lucerne, Bolzano and Spoleto festivals. Recent concerto appearances include works by Mozart, Schumann and Brahms with orchestras in London, Suffolk, and Salamanca. Nathan has collaborated with Claire Bloom, Guy Johnston, Arisa Fujita, The Gryphon Trio, Njabulo Madlala, Boris Kucharsky, Alexander Baillie, Ensemble Endymion, the Allegri and Sacconi Quartets, as well as working alongside numerous living composers in performances of their work. Nathan has been a member of the renowned new music ensemble Piano Circus since 2016.

Nathan’s debut recording, Brahms and Schubert: Late Piano Works, was reviewed by Donald Sturrock as ‘a truly electrifying debut from a musician with a rare marriage of thoughtfulness and passion… I doubt this Sonata [Schubert D.959] has ever had a more powerful advocate.’ Nathan has subsequently recorded discs of American piano music for SOMM-recordings and of British 20th century works with violinist Fenella Humphreys for Lyrita, with both receiving 5 star reviews in outlets such as Classical Music, Musical Opinion, and BBC Music Magazine. Nathan’s own work Trans-Atlantic Flight of Fancy is featured on NOW Ensemble’s album Dreamfall (New Amsterdam Records) and Homecoming, a commission for violinist Piotr Szewczyk as part of his Violin Futura project, is available on Navona Records, following dozens of performances by Szewczyk and other violinists worldwide.

2018 will see performances at the Americana ’18 Festival at St. John’s Smith Square, a recital with the Park Lane Group for in celebratio of Bernstein’s centenary, recitals with violinist Madeleine Mitchell, and a further solo disc on SOMM of works by Lutyens, Delius, Dickinson, Alwyn and Herschel Hill.

Nathan’s short opera for children ‘Machine Dream’, commissioned by the Mahogany Opera Group, will be given performances by five different primary schools in March 2018, and later this year Nathan recording his own recent piano music for use as sound tracks for films to be shown at the Venice Bienniale in 2019. Piano Circus will undertake a residency at Snape Maltingsin February, working with the composers Graham Fitkin and John Psathas.

Other forthcoming projects include recitals of contemporary British work with tenor James Gilchrist, performances of the three Schumann Sonatas with French violinist David Chivers, and the premiere of a major new work for cello and piano for Charles Watt at the William Alwyn Festival 2018.

Recent compositions include The little that was once a man, a song cycle to texts by Bryan Heiser, premiered by James Gilchrist and the composer, works for the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Bury St Edmund’s Cathedral, piano-duo Mariko Brown and Julian Jacobson, and Ensemble Endymion. A cycle of String Quartets has led to premieres by the Tin Alley and Barbirolli Quartets. Nathan has also been commissioned work for younger and amateur performers by Pro Corda and Music Works chamber music courses, Rugby School, Waveney and Blyth Arts, and the Chamber Music 2000 project.

Nathan studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Oxford University, and Yale University, where he also held a prestigious fellowship. He lives in Southwold, on the Suffolk coast, where he founded and directs the Southwold Concert Series and the Southwold Music Trust, which aim to make music a central part of the local community. He was recently appointed director of the William Alwyn Festival 2018, and serves as a regular coach and outreach project leader at the Yehudi Menuhin School.