The Irish bass-baritone and book seller, Nigel Williams, was born in a small market town in Tipperary. His mother was the headmistress of a local school and his father ran a hardware shop. He read history at Trinity College, Dublin, before being accepted onto a postgraduate singing course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Nigel Williams was a respected dealer in first editions in one of the West End’s most famous bookselling streets and a professional musician who regularly sang in his native Ireland. His interest in rare books began with collecting and he moved into the world of bookselling. He started a shop, Nigel Williams Rare Books, in Cecil Court, WC2, in the mid 1990's but continued to sing and would regularly fly to Ireland to perform on weekends. His shop specialised in first edition crime and PG Wodehouse novels and he worked with the PG Wodehouse Society on the first publication of some of the author’s works, including the novel, A Prince for Hire. Along with book fairs in the UK, he was a regular face at famous fairs in sunnier climes like California.
Nigel Williams was latterly involved in an ambitious project by the Orchestra of St Cecilia in Dublin to sing all of J.S. Bach’s cantatas over a 10-year period (Orchestra of St Cecilia: Bach Cantata Project).
Nigel Williams died on Christmas Eve, aged 48, after a long illness. Friends remembered him as a hard worker and a “pillar of the community in Cecil Court” who enjoyed life in a trade far removed from the conventions of the modern corporate world. He is survived by both his parents, a sister, two brothers and his wife Sophie.