Assistant Professor of Piano / Voice / Collaborative Pianist / Vocal Coach Accompanist
Coach-accompanist Richard L. Williams is assistant professor of accompanying and coaching at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance where he serves as coordinator of accompanying activities and as faculty coach for the Middle-America Opera Apprentice program shared by the Conservatory and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. He holds degrees in Liberal Arts and Piano Performance from the University of Akron and the Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois.
His teachers have included Arthur Reginald, Margaret Baxstresser, Malcolm Bilson and Stanley Fletcher. Mr. Williams has been an accompanist for the Affiliate Artist program and has performed with such well-known international opera performers as Sandra Warfield and James king. He is the official pianist for the Kansas City District of the Metropolitan Opera auditions and an official accompanist for the West Central Regional Auditions of the Music Teachers National Association.
Mr. Williams is a member of the piano staff of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. In addition to playing many recitals in the Middle West, he has coached or prepared a diverse list of productions including opera and musical theater. He is a principal coach of the Conservatory Opera, a training program whose students are working as principals or apprentices with New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Utah Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Tulsa Opera, St. Louis Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Central City and San Francisco Opera as well as other companies.
In 1991 Mr. Williams received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Conservatory Board of Trustees. In 1997 he was honored by serving as Hohenberg-Scheidt Artist-in-Residence at the University of Memphis. During summers Mr. Williams teaches and performs at the Seagle Colony in Schroon Lake, New York, the oldest summer vocal training summer program in the United States.