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, Carola Bauckholt, and Steve Reich. 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 Eötvös, 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 Oña (Wergo, 2007), Alberto Ginastera (Neos, 2010), Edgard Varèse and Morton Feldman (Wergo, 2009),and Amy Williams (Albany, 2013). They recently released a Kurtág CD with his complete work for piano duo and selected transcriptions (Wergo, 2015).
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), Subtropics Festival (2004, 2007 and 2014), Warsaw Autumn Festival (2010), 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, Venice Biennale, Musica Viva Munich, Munich Biennale, 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 since 2006. She has also collaborated with the Meridian Arts Ensemble (New York), the SWR Vokalensemble (Stuttgart), Thuermchen Ensemble (Cologne), Ensemble Resonanz (Hamburg), Schlagquartett Köln, and Mondrian Ensemble (Basel). Ms. Bugallo's teachers have included Lía Konias, Roberto Caamaño, Haydée Schvartz, 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. Her writings about this composer have appeared on Music Theory Online, the Official Bulletin of the Paul Sacher Foundation, and Wergo. In 2013 Ricordi published her edition of Edgard Varèse's piano arrangement of his Amériques for two pianos, eight hands. Between 2001 and 2003, she was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham (UK). Ms. Bugallo lives and works as independent pianist and musicologist in Basel, Switzerland.
AMY WILLIAMS has appeared as a composer and pianist at renowned contemporary music venues including the Thailand International Composition Festival, Ars Musica (Belgium), Gaudeamus Music Week (Netherlands), Dresden New Music Days (Germany), Festival Aspekte (Austria), Festival Musica Nova (Brazil), LA County Museum of Art, Piano Spheres (Los Angeles), and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. Her compositions have been performed by leading contemporary music soloists and ensembles, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Aleph, Dal Niente, Wet Ink Ensemble, Talon, Empyrean Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, H2 Saxophone Quartet, Bent Frequency, and pianists Ursula Oppens, Corey Hamm, and Amy Briggs. Her pieces appear on the Parma, VDM, Blue Griffin, New Ariel, and Albany labels. Ms. Williams has received a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition (2015-2016), Howard Foundation Fellowship (2008-2009) and Fromm Music Foundation Commission (2009). She holds a Ph.D. in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she also received her Master's degree in piano performance. She has taught at Bennington College and Northwestern University and is currently Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also Artistic Director of the New Music on the Point Festival in Vermont.www.amywilliamsmusic.com