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Classical Musicians of African Descent

John McLaughlin Williams, conductor

John McLaughlin Williams

Award-winning American orchestral conductor and violinist who received a Grammy in 2007 for his recording of Olivier Messiaen’s “Oiseaux Exotiques”. A student of Boston University School of Music, the New England Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Williams has appeared as a guest conductor with the Novaya Russiya, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Classic FM Symphony Orchestra (Sofia), the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, and many other ensembles.

As a violinist, he actively freelanced in the Boston area, where he served as assistant concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and performed as a substitute with the Boston Symphony. Williams was also a member of the Houston Symphony and concertmaster of the Virginia Symphony.