Current VPA News
Andrew Willis
Andrew Willis

Pianist Andrew Willis, a fortepiano expert and professor of music at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro, will be in residence March 28-29 in the keyboard department of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music.

The residency will include a presentation and recital of Bach Partitas performed on Willis’ own fortepiano on Thursday, March 28, from 12:40 -1:50 p.m. in Room 404 Crouse College. He will also present a masterclass with keyboard students on Friday, March 29, from 11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. in Room 404 Crouse College. Both events are free and open to the public.

Willis performs in the United States and abroad on pianos of every era. Keenly interested in the history of the piano, he is a past president of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society and a trustee of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies. He served as a finals juror of the Westfield International Fortepiano Competition in 2011.

Willis has recorded solo and ensemble music of three centuries on historically appropriate pianos for the Albany, Bridge, Claves, Centaur and CRI labels, notably with Malcolm Bilson and other colleagues in the first complete Beethoven sonata cycle recorded on historical pianos. His recording of Op. 106 for this set was hailed by The New York Times as “a ‘Hammerklavier’ of rare stature.”

In recent seasons Willis has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, the Magnolia Baroque Festival and the Staunton Music Festival and has performed with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, the Apollo Ensemble and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. He currently extends his investigation of historical performance practice into the Romantic era with performances on an 1848 Pleyel and an 1841 Bösendorfer and into the Baroque with performances of J. S. Bach and Italian masters on a replica of an early 18th-century Florentine piano.

As professor in the UNC Greensboro School of Music, Willis teaches performance on instruments ranging from harpsichord to modern piano and for more than a decade directed the biennial “UNCG Focus on Piano Literature” symposium.

Willis received the doctorate in historical performance from Cornell University, where he studied fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson; the masters in accompanying and chamber music from Temple University under the guidance of George Sementovsky and Lambert Orkis; and the baccalaureate in piano from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his mentor was Mieczyslaw Horszowski.

If you require accommodations to fully participate in these events, please contact Michelle Taylor at 315-443-2191 or mjtaylor@syr.edu. For parking information, visit Syracuse University’s Parking and Transit Services website.