Dean Williamson is widely known throughout the United States for his perceptive and commanding conducting. His ambitious and versatile career in standard and contemporary repertoire earns the conductor worldwide acclaim. The Washington Post says “a brilliantly directed, beautifully sung and endlessly funny Barber of Seville…the orchestra, which played the sparkling overture and the vivid storm music with grace and color under the expert baton of Dean Williamson.” The Seattle Times says “Williamson keeps a sure, steady hand on the singers and the orchestra…realizing the shimmering and otherworldly textures of the score.” This season Maestro Williamson conducts for Nashville Opera, where he’s entering his 3rd season as Music Director, with productions of Tosca, Maria de Buenos Aires, and Susannah. Additionally, he conducts Madama Butterfly with Opera Idaho. Future seasons see Williamson in returns to Arizona Opera.
Last season, Mo. Williamson conducted Nashville Opera’s productions of Don Giovanni, Glory Denied, and Three Way, which he also conducted at Brooklyn Academy of Music and which was recently recorded with the original cast conducted by Williamson on the American Modern Recordings label; La Cenerentola with Arizona Opera; and Tosca with Intermountain Opera Bozeman.
Recent engagements include Hydrogen Jukebox, Così fan tutte, and Die Fledermaus with Nashville Opera; Don Pasquale for Intermountain Opera Bozeman; and Faure’s Penelope for Philharmonia Northwest. For his New York City and Lincoln Center début, Williamson also lead New York City Opera orchestra in a production of Florencia en el Amazonas to which the critics at The New York Time raved “Dean Williamson drew colorful, shimmering playing from the City Opera orchestra.” Additionally, he was honored with a nomination for the 2015 Emmy Awards for the televised broadcast of the production of Le comte Ory that he conducted for Des Moines Metro Opera.
Additional highlights from recent seasons include returns to Seattle Opera for Il barbiere di Siviglia, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Pagliacci, Turn of the Screw, and Le nozze di Figaro; The Rake’s Progress, Don Pasquale, La Cenerentola, and Falstaff at Wolf Trap Opera; La bohème with Opera Santa Barbara; Die Zauberflöte with Opera Colorado; Rigoletto at Arizona Opera; La Cenerentola at Skagit Opera; Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Idaho; a reprisal of Carmina Burana for Spectrum Dance; Il barbiere di Siviglia and Carmen at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis; L’italiana in Algeri for Boston Lyric Opera; Lucia di Lammermoor with Minnesota Opera; Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, Carly Simon’s Romulus Hunt, La fanciulla del West, Roméo et Juliette, Samson et Dalila, La Cenerentola, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Il barbiere di Siviglia with Nashville Opera; Il trovatore, Madama Butterfly, Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, and Die Zauberflöte at the Chautauqua Opera; Summer and Smoke with the New England Conservatory; Street Scene for Hardin-Simmons University; Hänsel und Gretel, Don Giovanni and The Turn of the Screw for Baldwin-Wallace University; Pagliacci with Skagit Opera; Die Zauberflöte for Northwestern University; Le nozze di Figaro with Wichita Grand Opera; and Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Catán’s Rappacini’s Daughter with Des Moines Metro Opera.
Williamson served as the Artistic Director of Opera Cleveland from 2008-2010, where he conducted Don Giovanni, Lucia di Lammermoor, La bohème, Hänsel und Gretel, Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Falstaff, Les pêcheurs de perles and their final production of La voix humaine/Pagliacci. In addition, Williamson served until 2002 as Music Director and Conductor of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program. He led all of the program’s productions, such as Falstaff, Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, La Cenerentola, and La bohème. He was Music Director of the Washington East Opera and Artistic Director of the Viva Voce Song Recital Series with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra.
Williamson also worked with the Caramoor Festival, Central City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Blossom Festival, Banff Festival, Colorado Arts Festival, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Opera Idaho, Bellevue Philharmonic, and has served as Guest Faculty for the University of Washington and New York University. Mr. Williamson also performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe as accompanist with some of the world’s leading singers in such venues as Weill Recital Hall, the Wieniawski Society, and at Merkin Hall.
His discography includes Richard Danielpour’s Chamber Concerto, Respighi’s Prelude, Bach’s Fugue, and a program of Chopin/Bartok entitled Musically Speaking, all on the Delos Productions label, as well as He’ll Bring it to Pass and Songs of Harold Arlen with Mezzo-Soprano Del-Louise Moyer on Alyssum Enterprises Records.