April 22, 2020
Marguerite Lynn Williams is the Principal Harpist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her performances have been described as “ravishing harp artistry” (Charleston Today), “seamless technical polish and lyric sensitivity” (Chicago Classical Review), and “a bravura tour de force” (Miami Herald). An avid chamber musician, Ms. Williams is a founding member of the Chicago Harp Quartet, International Chamber Artists, and La Folia (Harp & Flute). Along with performing at music festivals around the world with these ensembles, she often collaborates with musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
A distinguished pedagogue, Marguerite is a member of the faculty at both the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. With a deep passion for teaching, she is the founder of the Chicago Harp Ensemble and has been the Director of this student ensemble since 2010.
Ms. Williams has performed in a range of distinguished venues such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall (New York), National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), Philharmonie de Paris, Royal Albert Hall (London), Symphony Center (Chicago), Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Moscow), and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. She has also had the pleasure to work with some of the world’s most famous conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, and Michael Tilson Thomas. She has appeared with some of the finest orchestras in North America including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Symphony.
Ms. Williams was a prizewinner at the American Harp Society, American Opera Society, Anne Adams Award, National Federation of Music Clubs, Sigma Alpha Iota and Young Arts competitions. She has appeared as a featured performer and lecturer at American Harp Society conventions and the World Harp Congress in Vancouver as well as served as judge for both the American Harp Society and Young Artist’s Harp Competitions.
Born in Dayton, OH, Ms. Williams began her music studies at five on the piano and at fourteen on the harp. A student of Kathleen Bride, she received her B.M. and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. She continued her graduate studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where she received her M.M. studying with Sarah Bullen. Following her studies, she served as Principal Harpist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the New World Symphony (Miami, FL).