Visiting Artists

Visiting Artist Series
Gilles Vonsattel, piano

The Williams College Department of Music presents pianist Gilles Vonsattel in concert on Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams campus. A master class with Mr. Vonsattel takes place Monday, March 11 at 4:15 p.m. These free events are open to the public.

Mr. Vonsattel’s performs some of the works that have garnered him much recent critical acclaim: Ludwig van Beethoven, Six Bagatelles, op. 126; Heinz Holliger, Partita; Maurice Ravel, Sonatine; Artur Honegger, Hommage à Ravel; Maurice Ravel, Gaspard de la Nuit.

Winner of a 2008 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is an artist of uncommon breadth. With repertoire that ranges from Bach’s Art of the Fugue to Xenakis, as well as equal comfort as a soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Vonsattel displays a musical curiosity and sense of adventure that has gained him many admirers. He began touring after capturing the top prize at the prestigious 2002 Naumburg International Piano Competition. He made his Alice Tully Hall debut that same year and has since performed with the Warsaw Philharmonic; at Zürich’s Tonhalle, Warsaw’s Chopin Festival, and Tokyo’s Opera City Hall; and in the U.S. with the Utah, Santa Fe, Nashville, and Grand Rapids symphonies, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. In July 2010 he made his Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood debuts in the Brahms First Piano Concerto under Herbert Blomstedt, and in 2011 he made his San Francisco Symphony debut. He returns to the San Francisco Symphony in 2012 under conductor Michael Francis. A former member of the Chamber Music Society Two, Mr. Vonsattel has been an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2011.

After studying with pianist David Deveau in Boston, Mr. Vonsattel received his B.A. in political science and economics from Columbia University and his M.M. from The Juilliard School, where he worked with Jerome Lowenthal. Beginning in September 2010, he assumed the position of Assistant Professor of Piano at University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

For this performance at Williams Mr. Vonsattel will be playing a Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano as part of the music departments Visiting Artist series. In addition to his concert appearance, Mr. Vonsattel will lead a master class for Williams piano students on Monday, March 11 at 4:15 in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall. Students will play for their teachers, Mr. Vonsattel, and for the public. Mr. Vonsattel will share his remarks about these performances, a wonderful opportunity to learn insights from a master and a chance to experience a time honored teaching tradition.

Photo credit: Jean-Claude Capt

Program notes: Eric Friesen