A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Lew Williams began playing the
organ at the age of ten and started formal piano studies five years
later. Upon graudating from high school, he enrolled at Texas
Christian University, where he was a pupil of Emmet G. Smith. While at
TCU, he won several competitions in organ playing, gave nummerous recitals
and graduated with the Bachelor of Music degree and Performer's Certificate.
Williams went to the Conservatory of Music, Geneva, Switzerland for a year of post-graduate work, where he studied organ and improvisations with Pierre Segond. After finishing his studies there, he gave an organ reciatal at the Cathedral of St. Pierre in Geneva which was recorded by Swiss National Radio.
Upon his return to the United States, Lew Williams attended Southern Methodist University and earned his Master of music degree, working with Dr. Robert T. Andersen. He also won the American Guild of Organist's regional competition and performed at their national convention the following year.
In 1979, he began playing for the Organ Stop Pizza restaurants in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona. Currently, he performs on the world's largest publicly-installed theatre organ, the 4/74 Wurlitzer pipe organ at Mesa's Organ Stop. In 1988, he was named "Organist of the Year" by the American Theatre Organ Society.Concert work has taken him around the USA many times. He has played five concert tours of England, and in 1988 he appeared in Australia's national theatre organ convention in Adelaide. In December, 2000, he performed the first solo theatre organ concert by an American at the Atrium de Chaville in Paris, France.
Lew Williams currently has four recording to his credit: At Last (Alabama Theatre, Birmingham, 4/22 Wurlitzer), Live at Pasadena Civic Aduditoruum (5/29 Moller), Rhapsody in Blue and Give my Regards to Broadway (both at Organ Stop Pizza).
Last Update: August 16, 2002