Mary Emerson Professor of Piano
Director of Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta
Office: Schwartz Center, Room 336
D.M.A. 1985, University of Michigan
Pianist William Ransom has appeared in recital, as soloist with orchestras, and as a chamber musician in Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, Korea, South America, Mexico, and throughout the United States. He has performed in New York's Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall, and Merkin Hall; in Orchestra Halls in Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta; at the National Gallery in Washington D.C.; and in Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Dallas, and Los Angeles. He has performed for the American Ambassadors to Japan and Ireland, and his performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio and Television in the United States, Japan, Korea, Argentina, and Poland. His recording of Enoch Arden, by Richard Strauss, The Music of Alfredo Barili, and Chamber Music of Johannes Brahms were released on the ACA label. Ransom can also be heard on Heartkeys, from Rising Star Records.
Ransom has commissioned and premiered several major works by composer Stephen Paulus, and he was also the featured pianist performing music by Dwight Andrews used in August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway hit, The Piano Lesson, as well as the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie based on the same play. A popular performer on many University concert series, he has performed at numerous colleges around the country including Yale, Cornell, Duke, Tulane, Vanderbilt, M.I.T., and Stanford, where he has also given master classes.
Born in Boston, Ransom began his musical studies at an early age. He was a scholarship student of William Masselos at the Juilliard School in New York (BM and MM), and he also worked with Theodore Lettvin at the University of Michigan (DMA) and Madame Gaby Casadesus at the Ravel Academy in France. Ransom is currently the Mary L. Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory University in Atlanta. He is founder and Artistic Director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta and has collaborated with such artists as cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Steven Isserlis; clarinetist Richard Stoltzman; members of the Tokyo, Cleveland, St. Petersburg and Lark String Quartets; violinist Robert McDuffie; guitarist Eliot Fisk, and members of the Empire Brass Quintet and the percussion group Nexus among many others. In the summers, Ransom is Artistic Director of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina and also an artist-faculty member of the Kamisaibara Pianists Camp in Japan.
"One of the greatest of the new generation of pianists." La Voz, Argentina
"His playing really caught fire, filling the hall with pianists sparks that brought the audience to its feet." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Full of natural vitality and richly expressive. An impressive performance." Ongaku no Tomo, Japan
"Ransom’s power was overwhelming. Technically perfect, musically expressive and lyrical, his performance offered only delight. He played to perfection." The Journal, New York
"A technical dazzler, and more." Detroit Free Press
"He made the piano sing." Le Sud-Ouest, France