Open main menu

Edgar Warren Williams (born June 12, 1949) is an American composer, conductor, and music theorist.

Williams obtained a bachelor's degree in composition from Duke University in 1971, then obtained a master's degree at Columbia University in 1973, studying with Charles Wuorinen, Mario Davidovsky, and Harvey Sollberger. He then matriculated at Princeton, where he received a Master's in Fine Arts in 1977 and a Ph.D. in 1982 and studied with Milton Babbitt and J.K. Randall. He was a faculty member and orchestral conductor at the College of William and Mary from 1979. Williams's compositional work is noted for its orchestrational and timbral complexity, and its use of pitch collections as melodic and thematic elements.[1]




  • 1969 Of Orphalese
  • 1984 Landscapes with figure
  • 1998 Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror
  • 1999 Suite on "Nosferatu"

For concert bandEdit

  • 1968 "To my Father" Prologue
  • 1978 Across a Bridge of Dreams
  • 1991 Into the dark
  • 1993 Now showing!
  • 2002 Music from behind the Moon
  • Prologue



  • 1975 The mystic trumpeter, for mixed choir and orchestra
  • 1976 Multum in parvo, for large mixed choir
  • 1998 Star spangled Banner, canon for choir
  • Missa, For six-member men's choir, brass and piano

Vocal musicEdit

  • 1985 Three songs, for high voice and piano - text: Margaret Tongue
  • 1985 The bawds of euphony, for high voice and piano - text: Wallace Stevens
  • Two Lyrics, for middle voice and piano - text: James Agee

Chamber musicEdit

  • 1968 Chamber Piece nr. 1
  • 1968 Chamber Piece nr. 2
  • 1971 String Quartet nr. 1
  • 1980 Amoretti, for viola and piano
  • 1985 Caprice, for violin
  • 1996 String Quartet nr. 2
  • 1999 String Trio
  • Fant'sy I (from "Hortus conclusus"), for 9 instruments
  • Fant'sy II (from "Hortus conclusus"), for 12 instruments
  • Fant'sy III (from "Hortus conclusus"), for 12 instruments


  • 1987 Six studies
  • 2005 Sonata


  • 2002 Guitar quartet

Electronic musicEdit

  • 2000 Pentimenti


  • Edgar Warren Williams: Harmony and Voice Leading, New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
  • Edgar Warren Williams: Introduction to Music, New York: HarperCollins, 1991. (Co-author with Miller and Taylor.)
  • Edgar Warren Williams: Banqueting with the Emperor, in: Perspectives of New Music, Volume 35, Number 1(1998)
  • Edgar Warren Williams: A View of Schoenberg's Opus 19, No.2, in: College Music Symposium, Vol. 25 (1985)
  • Edgar Warren Williams: In and About Some Measures of Beethoven, in: 19th Century Music, November 1983
  • Edgar Warren Williams: On Complementary Interval Class Sets, in: Theory only, Vol.7 (June 1983)


  1. ^ Richard Swift, "Edgar Warren Williams". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. via Grove Music Online.