Julius Penson Williams
Is an award-winning conductor, composer, recording artist, educator, author and pianist. His career has taken him from his native New York to musical venues around the globe, and has involved virtually every musical genre. Maestro Williams Carnegie Hall conducting debut was with the “Symphony Saint Paulia” Inaugural concerts in 1987 in New York. He has conducted American Orchestras in Dallas, New Haven, Savannah, Hartford, Sacramento, Tulsa, Knoxville, Oklahoma, Vermont , Akron, Paducah , Norwalk, The Vermont Philharmonic, The Wooster Symphony in Ohio,The Harlem Symphony , in addition, the Armor Artist Chamber Orchestra, the Connecticut Opera, Kalistos Chamber Orchestra in Boston. He was Music Director of the Washington Symphony (1998-2003) which was the official Orchestra of Washington, DC. One of their most prestigious performances was the 30th anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China at Constitution Hall in Washington DC as well as, conducting a celebration at the Chinese Embassy later that year. He was also, The Artistic Director of the music festival of Costa del Sol, in Spain, and Artistic Director of the School of Choral Studies of New York State Summer School of the Arts for Ten seasons, other appearances include, The Tri-C Jazz Festival in 1999 concert series in Cleveland Ohio where he opened the season conducting a powerful performance of Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Service”. He recently conducted a tour for the Oberlin Conservatory Opera and the Cleveland Opera Theater receiving rave reviews for the performances of the Opera Harriett Tubmen. This Summer he was a Guest Conductor with the OneWorld Festival Orchestra in Virginia. This Labor day 2019 he conducted a gala performance with the Dallas Symphony at the Black Academy Third Annual Riverfest in Dallas Texas.In the past, he has served as Assistant Conductor to the late Maestro Lucas Foss with The Brooklyn Philharmonic and with The American Symphony in New York. He is currently Artistic Director and Conductor of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra in Boston and Music Director and Conductor of the Trilogy An Opera Company in New Jersey and President of the Conductors Guild. He is a Composer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra” Composer In Residence, Project” as well as serving as a cover (understudy) conductor to the Boston Pops Orchestra (BSO) in Boston and he has also served as a cover conductor to the Rhode Island Philharmonic.
In Europe, Maestro Williams has performed and recorded with The Prague Radio Symphony, The Moscow Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, Principal Military Orchestra of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation, The Dvorak Symphony Orchestra, The Volvodanksa Symphony of Serbia, The Dubrovnik Symphony of Croatia, The Brno State Philharmonic, The Bohuslav-Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Music Festival of Costa del Sol, Spain.
A prolific composer, Maestro Williams has created works for virtually every genre of contemporary classical performance, including opera, ballet, orchestra, chamber ensemble, chorus and solo voice, dance, musical theatre and film. His music has been performed by countless symphony orchestras including New York, Cleveland, Detroit, St Louis, and this season Boston, to name a few. He has also served as Composer-in-Residence of Connecticut’s
Nutmeg Ballet Company, which premiered his ballet, “Cinderella”. The opera “Guinevere” was performed at the Aspen Music Festival and at Dubrovnik Music Festival in Croatia. He was composer of the score for the film “What Color is Love?” and he scored the theatrical production to “In Dahomey” . His Cantata “A Journey to Freedom” for the Reston Choral and Festival Orchestra in Virginia was recorded on his Album “Somewhere Far Away” 2009 on the Albany Record label. He composed the music “Dreams” for the Boston Children’s Choir “raising the roof concert: concert televised on national television and recorded on their 2010 CD. Maestro Williams has served as conductor-composer of the Connecticut Arts Award for Public Television. His film score for Lifetime TV’s “Fighting for our Future” won the Gracie Allen Documentary Award in 2003. The Boston Symphony will premiere his composition Songs
Julius Williams’ discography includes the critically-acclaimed “Symphonic Brotherhood” a collection of African-American symphonic music, “Shades of Blue”, “The New American Romanticism”, Somewhere Far Away, Places in Time, The American Soloist and Midnight Tolls, all available on the Albany Records label. In 2016-17 He has two more orchestral recordings “Moments of Arrival”on Centaur Records and “The Bird That Wants to Fly” a children opera on Naxos/Roven Records. His recordings are on the Albany, Centaur, Naxus and the Videmus Record labels.
In addition to his conducting and composing careers, Williams maintains a demanding schedule of speaking engagements, consulting and academics. A dedicated educator, Williams has served on the faculties of Wesleyan University, The University of Hartford, and The University of Vermont. He has been Visiting Conductor of Orchestra at Skidmore College in Saratoga, NY, Affiliate Artist-Teacher of Composition at Purchase College of the State University of New York, and Co-Director of Videmus Records, and Visiting Associate Professor and Jessie Ball Dupont Scholar at Shenandoah University and Conservatory in Virginia. He is presently Professor of Composition and Conducting at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Julius Williams’ educational consulting and speaking engagements has included, The Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow Russia and The Shanghai Conservatory in China where he served as the first American Adjudicator of the Rivers Music Competition. The league of American Symphony Orchestras, The Artistic Advisory Committee of the Queens Symphony Orchestra in New York, he also has served on The Advisory Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts (USA) and the Adjudication Committee for the Fulbright Awards, Educational Consultant to the Norwalk Symphony in Connecticut and on the Panel of Jazz and Orchestral Music for The Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is presently President and Member of the Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild..
Maestro Williams is the recipient of awards for musical and academic achievement including Finalist for American Prize for Professional Orchestra conducting and The American Prize in Composition, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Keene State College in New Hampshire , The Detroit Symphony “Emerging Composer Award”, The Gracie Allen Documentary Award, The Distinguished Medal of Artistic Achievement of the Ecuador Youth Symphony Orchestra
Foundation, The Honorary Distinguished Alumnus Award of Langston University, Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award 2017, The National Culture of the Arts Award of the Association of Foreign Language Teachers of New York, he has received ASCAP Awards in Composition for the past twenty five years
In 2009 he was selected as the Faculty Marshall for the Berklee commencement and gave the first faculty Address at the ceremony in the schools history. Maestro Julius P. Williams has been featured on National Television as a feature artist profiled on CBS News Sunday Morning.