One of our special guests for the 2MBS Fine Music Sydney 2023 Open Day is renowned Australian pianist and music educator Gerard Willems AM, a musician who has made significant contributions to the classical music scene in Australia and beyond.
Born in 1946 in the Netherlands, Willems migrated to Australia in 1952 with his family. He began studying the piano at a young age.
Willems completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Sydney and later earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Yale University in the United States. He also studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, and at the Moscow Conservatory in Russia.
Willems’ career as a pianist spans over five decades, during which he has given numerous concerts and recitals in Australia, Europe, and Asia. He is known for his passionate and insightful interpretations of classical repertoire, particularly the works of Beethoven. In 2005, he completed a nine-year project to record all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas for the ABC Classics label, which received critical acclaim.
Willems is also a respected music educator, having taught at the Australian National University School of Music. He is currently a professor at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he teaches piano performance and music history.
In addition to his performing and teaching career, Willems has also made significant contributions to music research. He has published several books on music, including “Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas: A Guide for Students and Amateurs” and “Playing the Piano: A User’s Guide.” His research focuses on the interpretation of classical repertoire and the history of keyboard instruments.
For his contributions to music, Willems has received numerous awards and honors, including the Order of Australia in 2004 and the Australian Music Centre’s award for “Services to Australian Music” in 2005. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Western Australia in 2006.
We are thrilled to have Gerard as our guest on Open Day. He is an inspiration to many young musicians in Australia and around the world. His dedication to music, both as a performer and a teacher, has enriched the lives of countless people and helped to promote classical music in Australia.