Announcing our new CEO!

Photo of Chris Williams

We are thrilled to announce that Chris Williams will step into the role of President and CEO of the American Pianists Association starting July 10, taking over for interim CEO Joanne Bennett.

[UPDATE: this announcement was covered by IndyStar, Musical America, The Violin Channel, Chamber Music America and Indianapolis Business Journal among other media prpoperties]

Williams joins us after serving five years as executive vice president of Concert Artists Guild (CAG) in New York City. During his time at CAG, he mentored young artists and connected them with top industry presenters, managers and tastemakers. Williams was instrumental in brokering multiple partnerships with organizations including Kaufman Music Center, Death of Classical and Young Classical Artists Trust in London.

“The American Pianists Association has searched for a person with creativity, vision, passion for serving young piano artists and our diverse community, extensive musical leadership experience, and a presence that inspires,” Board Chair William C. Sando, M.D., said. “We are excited to report that we found all of these traits in Chris Williams.”

Prior to his appointment at CAG, Williams worked as an arts consultant at Williams Arts Consulting, connecting with collegiate music students across the country. He has been a guest speaker on professional development at Yale University, University of Illinois, University of North Texas, the Cliburn Junior Piano Competition and more.

Known for his work with artists on all career levels, Williams served as vice president at Judson Management Group, where he secured over 200 engagements for top artists including Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Attacca Quartet. Additionally, as artist manager at Frank Salomon Associates, Williams represented legendary artists and top pianists including Richard Goode, Sir Simon Rattle, Jaime Laredo and Leon Fleisher.

"The American Pianists Association’s dedication to advancing the careers of solo pianists is an endeavor I’m extremely passionate about,” Williams said. “These musicians consistently exhibit a sensational level of artistry and deserve more support in the classical and jazz genres. I am excited to use the relationships I’ve built over the course of my career to contribute to the success of our future Awards finalists. The American Pianists Association has deep roots in the communities they serve, and I look forward to finding new ways to connect with our audiences in Indianapolis and beyond.”

Look for a feature on Chris and his vision for our organization in an issue of 88 Keys later this summer!


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Our diverse world shapes our music, the artistic language of our contestants. It delights, informs, and inspires us all. It is in this spirit that the American Pianists Association welcomes people of any race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender identity, as well as people with disabilities. We commit to learn from diverse talents, ideas, and voices. We pledge to create an environment for our artists, audiences, community partners, board, and staff that is based on the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Further, we commit to enacting strategic and annual plans that provide focused, measurable strategies for living out these values every day.