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– Composer & Guitarist


William Anderson composes, performs and produces concerts and recordings in the US and abraod. He began playing chamber music at the Tanglewood Festival at age 19. Richard Ortner called him to Tanglewood for guitar parts throughout the 1980s.


Anderson was a guest on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show; and on NPR's All Things Considered, when excerpts from his Overture to Sounding Beckett were broadcast nation-wide.


– Anderson has performed with many of New York City's finest ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Players, Sequitur, the Group for Contemporary Music, the Da Capo Chamber Players.

– He founded the Cygnus Ensemble in 1985. Cygnus has built a substantial repertoire of chamber music with plucked strings. He became Artistic Director of the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music in 2011.


– As a composer and arranger Anderson was the first to use a multiply-partitioned array as an accompaniment to a 3-chord pop song (My Morphine--Welch/Anderson), This and other experiments in adapting modernist techniques led Paul Griffiths, in the NY Times, to say:

“The mindful voice of Ives, of Stravinsky and of Mr. Wuorinen’s music would not seem to be implied much by such a song as “Night and Day,” but Mr. Anderson’s extraordinary arrangements of this and other numbers by Jerome Kern and Richard Rogers set them squarely and astonishingly in the same tradition...”


In 1982 he began studying with America's premiere guitar pioneer David Starobin, who introduced him to music communities in New York City. Anderson has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Players under James Levine, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He regularly appeared in Washinton D.C.with the Theater Chamber Players at the Kennedy Center, under Directors Dina Koston and Leon Fleisher.

Anderson founded Cygnus in 1986. Cygnus commissioned works by rising generations of composers, as well as landmark works such as Milton Babbitt's Swan Song No. 1, Mario Davidovsky's Ladino Songs and Charles Wuorinen's Cygnus.


Mr. Anderson appears on numerous recordings, and has given recitals and radio broadcasts in Europe, Mexico, Japan and the U.S. With Cygnus, he has performed in Denmark, Holland, Poland, Russia, Mexico and California. Cygnus also offers a series of three concerts each season at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, presenting important new works by America’s best composers. In the New Music Connoisseur, Leo Kraft wrote a review of a Cygnus performance in New York, saying, “If Mr. Anderson’s aim was to show how the guitar can play a significant role in chamber music, he certainly succeeded.” Anderson teaches guitar at Sarah Lawrence College and Queens College. Since 2011 he has been Artistic Director of the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music and its production arm, Marsyas Productions.

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