About Gareth Williams
Originally from Armagh, Gareth Williams is a composer and lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art. His work seeks to find new participants and audiences for opera and music theatre, to shed light on stories and communities that have been overlooked, and to explore ideas of vulnerability in vocal writing. His music has been performed and broadcast all over the world.
Williams was Composer in Residence at Scottish Opera from 2012 to 2015. Whilst there, he created a series of operas and projects, including Breath Cycle, at the respiratory ward of Gartnavel Royal Hospital, where he wrote songs and opera specifically for patients with Cystic Fibrosis, who weren’t allowed in the same room as one another.
He is conductor and musical director of NOISE opera, where he composes operas with collaborators who are new to the genre, for example, the patrons of the oldest bar in Glasgow, Shetland fiddler, Chris Stout, and the indie band, Admiral Fallow.
His work Rocking Horse Winner, produced by Tapestry Opera, a chamber opera, adapted from a short story by D.H. Lawrence by librettist Anna Chatterton, was premiered in Toronto in May 2016, winning 5 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Outstanding Musical Production, and both 306 Dawn and 306 Day were shortlisted for CATS Awards for best music and sound.
At BBC Radio Scotland, Williams regularly contributes to Classics Unwrapped, presenting new classical music to a wider audience. He is currently creating a new opera with Johnny McKnight for Scottish Opera in 2021, developing a new musical theatre work with Oliver Emanuel, and creating an album of songs, each one based on the last line of a book.