Julius P. Williams

Artistic Director, Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra

In fall 2017, Julius P. Williams was appointed artistic director of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra (BCSO). Williams first joined the ensemble in spring 2016 as the conducting coach and codirector for the ensemble in their preparation of the Lord of the Rings Symphony by Howard Shore B.M. '69, '08H, which was performed at Boston's Symphony Hall on April 19, 2017, to an audience of over 2,000 people. Williams succeeded Francisco Noya, who served as the BCSO's artistic director for nine years.

An award-winning conductor and composer, Williams has conducted American orchestras in Dallas, Texas; New Haven, Connecticut; Savannah, Georgia; Sacramento, California; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, among many other locations. In addition, he has conducted the Connecticut Opera, the Oberlin Opera Theater and the Oberlin Opera, the Armor Artist Chamber Orchestra, and the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra. He was the music director of the Washington Symphony from 1998 until 2003. Williams was also the artistic director of the Music Festival of Costa del Sol in Spain, as well as the artistic director of the School of Choral Studies and principal conductor of the school of orchestra studies of New York State Summer School of the Arts at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York. He has served as assistant conductor to the late Lucas Foss with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and with the American Symphony in New York. In addition to his work as a professor at Berklee, he is currently music director and conductor of Trilogy An Opera Company in New Jersey. He has served as cover conductor for both the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. In Europe, Williams has performed and recorded with the Prague Radio Symphony, the Moscow Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, the Dvorak Symphony Orchestra, the Volvodanksa Symphony of Serbia, and the Bohuslav-Martinu Philharmonic Orchestras, among others.

A prolific composer, Williams has created innumerable works for virtually every genre of contemporary classical performance including opera, ballet, orchestra, chamber ensemble, chorus, solo voice, dance, musical theater, and film. His music has been performed by countless symphony orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, and the Dallas Symphonies. His recordings are on the Albany, Centaur, Roven, and Naxos record labels. His profile was featured on the national broadcast CBS Sunday Morning. He is currently president of the International Conductors Guild.