Preview: Portsmouth Chamber Music Series – Llŷr Williams, piano

Monday 21 November 2022, Portsmouth Guildhall

Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams is widely admired for his profound musical intelligence, and for the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations. He regularly appears at the most prestigious UK venues and Festivals, and has performed with all the major UK orchestras under conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Jiří Bělohlávek, Carlo Rizzi, Vasily Petrenko, Jaime Martín, Osmo Vanska, Joseph Swensen, Grant Llewellyn and Jac Van Steen; he has a particularly longstanding relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he has in recent seasons performed concertos ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Bartók and Mathias.

An acclaimed performer of Beethoven, he has several complete sonata cycles under his belt, including at Wigmore Hall and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and partial cycles at the Moscow Consevatoire and St Petersburg Phiharmonic, while in May 2020, a planned full Beethoven cycle at the Festival Cultural de Mayo in Guadalajara, Mexico was recorded as live by Signum Records from his home in Wrexham and streamed by the festival in eight broadcasts. In 2022 he made his Madrid recital debut, performing the Diabelli Variations at the Fundación Juan March. A regular performer in recital halls around the UK, such Wigmore Hall, Perth Concert Hall, and the St David’s and Dora Stoutzker Halls in Cardiff, in 2022, Llŷr Williams also returned to North America to the Capital Region Classical series in Schenectady and Salle Bourgie in Montreal. Pieter Wispelwey, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Hannes Minnaar, Erik Bosgraaf and Annelien Van Wauwe.

Llŷr Williams’ discography reflects his long association with Signum Records; November 2020 saw the release of an 8-disc box-set ‘A Schubert Journey’. His previous release, the 12-disc ‘Beethoven Unbound’, was BBC Music Magazine’s ‘Recording of the Month’ in August 2018. Other recordings by Williams on Signum include a ‘Wagner Without Words’ double album (2014) and highlights from Liszt’s ‘Années de pèlerinage ‘(2012). He has also recorded William Mathias’ second Piano Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as works by Welsh composers for the Tŷ Cerdd label.

A former BBC New Generation Artist and Borletti-Buitoni Trust award winner, Llŷr Williams was born in Pentrebychan, North Wales, and read music at The Queen’s College, Oxford before taking up a postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and in 2017 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wales. He is also currently Artist-in-Association at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Find out more about the Portsmouth Chamber Music Series.

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