British born, CAROL WILLIAMS (D.M.A., ARAM, Dip Ram, AD (Yale), FRCO, FTCL, ARCM) was raised in a Welsh family with many musical influence and began private lessons at age five and could read music before she could read English. She began performing recitals at age eight.
Williams’s formal training started with five years at the Royal Academy of Music where she specialized in organ performing as a student of David Sanger and obtained the Academy’s prestigious Recital Diploma together with an LRAM (organ) and an LRAM (piano).
Williams was awarded all the major prizes for organ performing and, during her studies she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and a Fellow of Trinity College London plus an Associate of the Royal College of Music. Williams then studied with Daniel Roth, the Organist at the Church of St. Sulpice, Paris.
After moving to the United States in 1995, she undertook postgraduate study at Yale University under the direction of Professor Thomas Murray where she was appointed University Chapel Organist and was awarded an Artist Diploma together with the Charles Ives prize for outstanding achievement.
Next to New York City, Williams undertook Doctoral studies under Professor McNeil Robinson at the Manhattan School of Music where she received the Helen Cohn award for her D.M.A. degree. During her time there she was the Associate Organist at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Long Island’s Garden City.
Williams’s performances have taken her all over the world to popular venues such as St. Sulpice & Notre Dame in Paris; the Walt Disney Concert Hall & First Congregational Church in Los Angeles; Riverside Church & St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York; and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC. In the United Kingdom venues included Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, King’s College, Queen’s College, and Blenheim Palace. As well as numerous concerts in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Monaco, Luxembourg, Holland, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, China and Russia.
Williams regularly throws out a wider net to receive new audiences to the pipe organ. She is known for her collaborations with various jazz, blues, pop, and rock bands as well as her performances with leading orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, and the Beijing Symphony Orchestra.
As a regular broadcaster in the U.K., America, and around the world, she highlights her profound love of the King of Instruments, and is featured on several DVDs in Britain and the U.S., including the national-awareness video, TourBus, produced by Bell Video.
En route, Williams has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in recognition of her contribution to music.
Williams was privileged to take part in the Virgil Fox Memorial Concert held at New York’s Riverside Church released as a double-CD by Gothic Records and, in the 10th anniversary concert of the Walt Disney Hall Organ.
Presently, Williams is Civic Organist of the City of San Diego, CA since 2001 (the first woman appointed to the title), Artistic Director of the Spreckels Organ Society (presenting summer pipe organ concert series), Organist in Residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, President of the North & Midlands School of Music in the United Kingdom, and a Host of the TourBus video series, featuring the great & small, famous & unique pipe organs of the world. Williams donates several performances a year raising funds and awareness for various charitable organizations.
Carol Williams gives a different spin to the classical pipe organ concert with her programs of intense genre diversity, elegance and charismatic humor. Her performances are received with “rock star” enthusiasm.