A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Lew Williams began playing the organ at age ten and started formal piano studies five years later. At Texas Christian University, he was a pupil of Emmet G. Smith. During this time he won several competitions in organ playing, gave numerous recitals, and graduated with the Bachelor of Music degree and Performer's Certificate.
Williams went to the Conservatory of Music, Geneva, Switzerland for a year of post-graduate work, where he studied organ and improvisation with Pierre Segond. While there, he gave an organ recital at the Cathedral of St. Pierre in Geneva, which was recorded by Swiss National Radio.
Upon his return to the United States, Lew Williams attended Southern Methodist University and earned the Master of Music degree with Dr. Robert T. Anderson. He also won the American Guild of Organist's regional competition and performed at their national convention the following year.
In 1979 he began playing for the Organ Stop Pizza restaurants in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona. Currently he performs on the world's largest publicly-installed theatre organ, the 4/74 Wurlitzer pipe organ at Mesa's Organ Stop. In 1988, he was named "Organist of the Year" by the American Theatre Organ Society.
Concert work has taken him around the USA many times. He has played seven concert tours of England, and in 1998 and 2003 he appeared in Australia's national theatre organ convention at Adelaide. In December 2000, he performed the first solo theatre organ concert by an American at the Atrium de Chaville in Paris, France, returning for a second engagement there in November of 2002.
Lew Williams currently has six recordings to his credit: At Last (Alabama Theatre, Birmingham, 4/22 Wurlitzer), Live at Pasadena Civic Auditorium (5/29 Moller) and, at Organ Stop Pizza (4/74 Wurlitzer), Rhapsody in Blue, Give My Regards to Broadway , Fanfare, and Holiday Pipes.
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