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, 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 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. Most recently, Strata participated in a commissioning consortium for a new trio by Libby Larsen which they premiered in March 2016.
Williams is a frequent guest performer and teacher 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, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Portugal. Broadcasts of his performances can be heard regularly on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”. He has recorded for Albany Records, Composers Recordings, Inc., Naxos, New Dynamic Records, and Arizona University Recordings. During the summer months, he teaches and performs at festivals such as the Xi’an International Clarinet Festival in China, the International Clarinet Festival in Taichung, Taiwan, as well as serving on the artist faculty of the Adult Chamber Music Institute at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.
His students have garnered prizes in national and international competitions, most recently including the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition, Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Young Artist Competition, the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, and the Texas Young Artists Competition. Former students hold positions in major symphony orchestras and universities in the United States and abroad, including the St. Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Danish National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Santa Barbara Symphony.
A graduate of Eastman and Juilliard, 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, and uses mouthpieces made by Brad Behn and Vandoren.
“Nathan Williams is superb: brilliant, sweet of tone, and technically flawless.” Ronald E. Grames/Fanfare
“With a sound as silky and velvety as créme Anglaise and virtuosic control, he embodies what it means to have an instrument feel like an extension of the body.” CultureMap Houston
“ . . . showcasing his silky sound, superhuman control, and tireless energy.” CultureMap Houston
“Mr. Williams, through dauntless technical prowess, showered the audience with splendorous fireworks”…Shelter Island Reporter
“Williams was in complete command of his instrument, with solid technique and an operatic touch” The Washington Post
“There is a sound one needs on clarinet to play Mozart, a sound with a great deal of sweetness but at the same time plenty of presence and clarity, and Williams has it….Mozart, I think, would have loved it.” Solares Hill
“…technical finesse surpassed only by his intuition for musical concept and shape”…. “most exquisite and expressive playing…” San Juan Tribune