John Lane

percussionist | composer



Episode 38: Jan Williams, Part 1

This episode features part one of my conversation with percussionist Jan Williams, who has had a brilliant and multifaceted career. In addition to being one of the world's finest percussionists, Jan has been an arts administrator, educator, conductor, and composer. Deeply invested in contemporary music, he has worked closely with luminary composers including Morton Feldman, John Cage, Lukas Foss, Frederic Rzewski, and many more. As a performer, he has appeared worldwide and has been an important proponent for the development of literature for percussion instruments. 

Jan spent much of his career at the University of Buffalo, where he was one of the first class of Creative Associates in the 1960's. He went on to serve as a faculty member and chair of the music department. While in Buffalo, he also co-directed the North American New Music Festival and served as artistic director for the Center for Creative and Performing Arts. 

In the first part of our conversation we chatted about his background as a musician and some of the experiences working with composers John Cage and Morton Feldman. 

Morton Feldman and Jan Williams, Photo by Bunita Marcus

Morton Feldman and Jan Williams, Photo by Bunita Marcus

Click on the following link to explore photos in the archive at the University of Buffalo Library: Jan Williams's Photos of Morton Feldman.

Listen to Stitcher