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Peter Williams (Musicologist, Arranger)

Born: May 14, 1937 - Wolverhampton, England

The eminent English musicologist, organist, and harpsichordist, Peter (Fredric) Williams, was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (BA, 1958; Mus.B., 1959; MA, 1962; Ph.D., 1963).

In 1962 Peter Williams joined the faculty of the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer, subsequently becoming a reader (1972) and a professor (1982), where he held the first chair in performance practice in the UK. In 1985 he was made Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor at Duke University in Durham, N.C., where he was chairman of the music department (1985-1988), university organist (1985-1990), and director of the graduate center for performance practice studies (from 1990).

As a performing artist, Peter Williams made appearances as a recitalist from 1965. As a scholar, he ranks among the foremost authorities on the organ. In addition to his learned books and articles, he has served as general editor of the series Biblioteca Organologica (80 volumes, 1966 et seq.) and as founding editor of The Organ Yearbook (from 1969). He is also founder-general editor of the series Cambridge Studies in Performance Practice and of the Duke University series Sources and Interpretation of Music. He is also general editor of the New Oxford J.S. Bach Edition.

Writings

The European Organ 1450-1850 (London, 1966; 2nd edition, 1968)
Figured Bass Accompaniment (2 vols., Edinburgh, 1970; 2nd edition, 1972)
Bach Organ Music (London, 1972; 2nd edition, 1974)
A New History of the Organ From the Greeks to the Present Day (London, 1980)
The Organ Music of J.S. Bach (3 vols., Cambridge, 1980-1984)
editor: Bach, Handel and Scarlatti; Tercentenary Essays (Cambridge, 1985)
Playing the Works of Bach (New York, 1986)
The Organ (London and New York, 1988)
with L. Todd, editor: Mozart: Perspectives in Performance (Cambridge, 1991)
The Organ in Western Culture 750-1250 (Cambridge, 1993)
The King of Instruments or, How Do Churches Come to Have Organs? (London, 1993)
The Goldberg Variations (Cambridge University Press, 2001)
The Life of Bach? (2004)

 

Source: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2007)

Bach-P.F. Williams: Peter Williams | Works | Recordings
Books:
Life of Bach [by P. Williams

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Last update: żAugust 2, 2007 ż19:52:05