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William RansomFounder/Artistic Director: Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta


  • D.M.A.University of Michigan1985


Pianist, Artistic Director, Master teacher, editor and judge for international competitions, William Ransom regularly appears in recital, as soloist with orchestras, and as a chamber musician in Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, Korea, South America, Mexico, Canada, 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, Los Angeles, and Atlanta; at the National Gallery in Washington D.C.; and in Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, and Dallas.

He has been invited to perform for the American Ambassadors to Austria, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, 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, Chamber Music of Johannes Brahms and “Listening to Memories” with Chopin, Brahms and Bach were released on the ACA label. Ransom can also be heard on Heartkeys, from Rising Star Records.

Ransom commissioned and premiered several major works by composer Stephen Paulus including his “Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble”, 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 world including Yale, Cornell, Duke, Tulane, Vanderbilt, M.I.T., Stanford, Toho (Japan), Yonsei (Korea), and the School of the Arts (Argentina) where he has also given masterclasses.

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 collaborates with such artists as cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Steven Isserlis; clarinetist Richard Stoltzman; members of the Juilliard, Tokyo, Cleveland, St. Petersburg, American, Ariel, Parker, Vega, Borromeo, Lark, Cavani and Muir String Quartets; violinists William Preucil, Elmar Oliviera, Tim Fain, and Robert McDuffie; guitarist Eliot Fisk, and members of the Empire Brass Quintet, the Eroica Trio and the percussion group Nexus among many other classical musicians. He has also worked with jazz great Dave Brubeck and American masters Chris Thile and Mark O’Connor.

In the summers, Ransom is Artistic Director of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina and for ten years was also an artist-faculty member of the Kamisaibara Pianists Camp in Japan. In 2016 he was named Artistic Director of the Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival and also one of Musical America Worldwide’s “30 Musical Innovators”.

Link to Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival



“One of the greatest of the new generation of pianists.” La Voz, Argentina

“His playing really caught fire, filling the hall with pianistic 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