About Llŷr Williams
Pianist Llŷr Williams maintains connections to his native Wales while performing and recording frequently elsewhere in Britain and internationally. He gained wide public exposure as the accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Williams was born in 1976 in Pentre Bychan, near the city of Wrexham, Wales. His first exposure to classical music came from his father's enthusiasm for opera, and by the time he was ten, he was familiar with operas by Verdi and even Wagner. Williams began piano studies at seven and quickly passed through all the piano grades at his local school. He studied music at Queen's College, Oxford, from 1995 to 1998, winning several honors and prizes at graduation, and went on for studies at the Royal Academy of Music. In 2000, he received the school's highest diploma, the DipRAM. Williams rounded off his education with more studies under a Shinn Fellowship and an award from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust; on the latter occasion, he quipped that he would use the money to rebuild his piano, which was wearing out under his six-hours-a-day practice regimen. He has performed annually at the Edinburgh Festival beginning in 2002, and he began performing on the Singer of the Year Competition telecast in the same year. Williams was featured on the cover of BBC Music Magazine in 2005; the magazine included a CD on which he performed music of Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt. Williams toured 11 U.S. cities with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2007, and since then, he has maintained a busy international schedule of concerto solo appearances and recitals. Williams has appeared at the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has made various festival appearances beyond Edinburgh, including those at Britain's Mostly Mozart Festival (at the Barbican in London), the Cheltenham Festival, and the Gregynog Festival in Wales.
Williams has made recordings both as a soloist and as a vocal accompanist. He recorded the complete Preludes of Chopin for the Quartz label in 2006, and since then has recorded for the Orchid Classics, Ty Cerdd, and Signum Classics labels. In the late 2010s, he launched a six-volume cycle on Signum Classics, devoted to the late piano music of Schubert. Williams has served as Resident Pianist at the Y Galeri concert hall in Caernarfon, Wales, and he remained closely involved in Welsh musical life. He is a recipient of the Glyndŵr Award, given to individuals for outstanding contributions to the arts in Wales. ~ James Manheim