An internationally celebrated soloist and chamber musician, clarinetist Nathan Williams has recently been praised for his “sublime control”, “silky sound”, and “dazzling technique”. He is the principal clarinetist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston and Associate Professor of Clarinet and Chamber Music at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin where he was awarded the Grace Hill Milam Centennial Fellowship in Fine Arts.
Williams, along with pianist Audrey Andrist and violinist James Stern, is a founding member of Strata, a trio that for more than 20 years has been honing and, through regular commissions, augmenting this ensemble's repertory. Strata’s latest commissions include works by Stephen Paulus, which the trio premiered in Merkin Concert Hall, and by Kenneth Frazelle, which Strata premiered on the Secrest Series in Winston-Salem, NC. He is also a founding member, with oboist Rebecca Henderson and bassoonist Kristin Wolfe Jensen, of the Texas Reed Trio.
An avid interest in and commitment to contemporary works has been a hallmark of Williams's solo career as well. In recent guest appearances he played concertos by William Bolcom , John Adams, Aaron Copland, Dan Welcher and Frank Tichelli . In February, 2015 he will perform with the UT Wind Ensemble in the highly anticipated premiere of a wind ensemble transcription of the Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra by John Corigliano. Williams's much-praised duo CD with pianist Andrist, Spontaneous Lines (Albany Records), focuses on American music from the 1980s and '90s.
Williams is a frequent guest performer and teacher at conservatories, colleges and universities across the country and abroad. He has been heard in Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Merkin Hall, and the Kaufman Center at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Abroad he has given concerts in Austria, Canada, China, France, Italy, Israel, Hungary, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Portugal. In 2014, he was concerto soloist with the UT Wind Ensemble in a world tour, which included performances in Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Macau, and the United Kingdom. Broadcasts of his performances have been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Austrian Radio Network, NCRV Dutch Radio, and on WNCN in New York. In addition to Albany Records, he has recorded for Composers Recordings, Naxos, New Dynamic Records, and Arizona University Recordings.
His students have garnered prizes in national and international competitions, most recently including the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Young Artist Competition, the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, and the Texas Young Artists Competition. Former students hold positions in symphony orchestras and universities in the US and abroad.
Williams is an artist/clinician for Vandoren and a Buffet Group USA Performing Artist., and performs exclusively on Buffet R13 Prestige clarinets, Vandoren V12 Reeds, Brad Behn mouthpieces, and Taplin Weir barrels and bells. Upcoming engagements during the 2014-2015 season include performances in France, North Carolina, Maryland, Washington, DC, California, Michigan, and Texas.