Hailed as "beyond brilliant" (San Francisco classical Voice) and "simply stunning" (Gramophone), THE BUGALLO-WILLIAMS PIANO DUO has been presenting innovative programs of contemporary music throughout Europe and the Americas since 1995. Helena Bugallo and Amy Williams perform cutting-edge new works and masterpieces of the twentieth century for piano four-hands and two pianos, including works by Cage, Debussy, Feldman, Kagel, Kurtág, Ligeti, Nancarrow, Sciarrino, Stravinsky and Wolpe. They have premiered dozens of works, many of which were written especially for the Duo, and they have worked directly with such renowned composers as Louis Andriessen, Lukas Foss, Betsy Jolas, Bernard Rands, Steve Reich and Kevin Volans. They also collaborate with composers who explore new approaches to the piano through multimedia applications, electronics, and extended techniques. They frequently perform with additional players in works for multiple keyboards, chamber works for duo piano and instruments, and concertos. They have worked with conductors Peter Eötvos, Reinbert de Leeuw, Stefan Asbury, and Bradley Lubman.
As part of their mission to expand the repertoire for piano duet, the Duo has undertaken an extensive transcription project of the Studies for Player Piano by Conlon Nancarrow. This resulted in their critically acclaimed recording of Nancarrow's complete music for piano duet and solo piano, released by Wergo in 2004. Their CD "Stravinsky in Black and White" (Wergo, 2007) includes original arrangements for piano duet and two pianos by the composer, two of which are world premiere recordings. They have also recorded music of Jorge Liderman (Albany, 2005), Erik Ona (Wergo, 2007), and Alberto Ginastera (Neos, 2010). They recently released the world premiere recording of Edgard Varèse's arrangement of his Amériques for two pianos, eight hands (Wergo, 2009).
The Duo was formed in 1995, when Williams and Bugallo were graduate students at the State University of New York at Buffalo. They soon became regular performers at the June In Buffalo Festival, where they worked directly with numerous emerging and established composers. They began their Nancarrow project shortly thereafter, leading to their first performances in Europe (at the Aarhus Festival in Denmark in 1998) and South America (the Ciclo de conciertos de música contemporánea in Buenos Aires in 2000). They were fellows at the Akademie Schloß Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany in 2000 and 2001. Other important feature appearances include Miller Theatre (2004), Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (2005 and 2007), Ojai Festival (2005 and 2007), CAL Performances (2005) and Subtropics Festival (2004 and 2007). Recent performances include the new Louis Andriessen two-piano concerto, The Hague Hacking, at the 2010 Warsaw Autumn Festival (with the Warsaw Philharmonic and conductor Reinbert de Leeuw), and recital appearances at the Muziekgebouw aan't IJ in Amsterdam, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, MusikTriennale Köln, and Festival Attacca in Stuttgart. Avid proponents of contemporary music, they frequently present master classes and lecture-demonstrations at colleges and universities in the Americas and Europe.
HELENA BUGALLO a native of Argentina, has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Japan, appearing at international festivals such as Tanglewood, Warsaw Autumn, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Musica Viva Munich, Festival del Centro Histórico Mexico, and Ciclo de Música Contemporánea Buenos Aires. In addition to her work with the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, she is a member of the Ensemble Phoenix Basel. She has also collaborated with the Meridian Arts Ensemble (New York), the SWR Vokalensemble (Stuttgart), Thuermchen Ensemble (Cologne), Ensemble Resonanz (Hamburg) and Mondrian Ensemble (Basel). In 2007, she was featured as a soloist with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rudfunks in Munich. Engagements for 2008 included her participation in Hellhoerig, a new piece of music theater by Carola Bauckholt, premiered at the Munich Biennale. At the request of the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, she prepared the score of Edgard Varèse's piano arrangement of his Amériques for its world premiere recording in 2009. Ms. Bugallo's teachers have included Lía Konias, Roberto Caamano, Stephen Drury, and Alan Feinberg. She holds music degrees from the Conservatorio Provincial de La Plata (Argentina) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (USA), where she obtained a Master's degree in piano performance and a Ph.D. in musicology. Her doctoral dissertation is on the music of Conlon Nancarrow. Between 2001 and 2003, she was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham (UK). Ms. Bugallo presently lives in Basel, Switzerland.
AMY WILLIAMS has appeared as a pianist and composer at renowned contemporary music venues in the United States, Australia and Europe, including Ars Musica (Belgium), Musikhst (Denmark), Gaudeamus Musik Week (Netherlands), Festival Aspekte (Austria), Dresden New Music Days (Germany), Festival Musica Nova (Brazil), Music Gallery (Canada), Tanglewood, and LA County Museum. Her compositions have been performed by leading contemporary music soloists and ensembles, including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Empyrean Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, California E.A.R. Unit, Monarch Brass, Ensemble Aleph, H2 Saxophone Quartet, Due East, Wet Ink Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Bent Frequency, Duo Diorama, Ensemble Dal Niente, pianists Ursula Oppens and Amy Briggs, and bassist Robert Black. Her works appear on CDs on the Navona, New Ariel and VDM labels. As a pianist, Ms. Williams has recorded for Mode and Hat-Art. She has received awards from ASCAP, the Thayer Award for the Arts, the American- Scandinavian Foundation, the 2002 Wayne Peterson Prize in Music Composition, the Howard Foundation and a 2009 Fromm Music Foundation Commission. She has held residencies at the Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany) and Bellagio Center (Italy). She holds a Ph.D. in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she also received a Master's degree in piano performance. Her principal teachers were composers David Felder, Charles Wuorinen and Nils Vigeland and pianists Yvar Mikhashoff and Alan Feinberg. Before her current position as Assistant Professor of Composition/Theory at the University of Pittsburgh, she taught at Northwestern University and Bennington College.