Bruce Williamson

Image of Bruce Williamson
Faculty Emeritus

Bruce Williamson is a jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist/recording artist who has collaborated and performed with such luminaries as Bobby McFerron, Fred Hersch, Julie Taymor, and Mark Rylance in a variety of genres, and whose work has been featured in Academy Award-winning film scores.


Williamson has performed in clubs and festivals worldwide with artists such as Art Lande, Mark Isham, Jack McDuff, Fred Hersch, Gary Peacock, Paul McCandless, Bobby McFerron, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Bennie Green, Dave Douglas, Tom Harell, Dave Stryker, and Jim Pepper. He has also performed in New York City with American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, New York City Opera Orchestra, Manhattan New Music Project, Partita Ensemble, Bang on a Can Spit Orchestra, Bond St. Theatre’s Shinbone Alley Stilt Marching Band, and various Broadway pit orchestras (currently playing Reed-1 in Chicago). He has collaborated on theatre projects with composer Ricky Ian Gordon and director Tina Landau (The Family Project); director George Wolfe (Caroline, or Change); with director Julie Taymor (Juan Darien, The Lion King, and The Green Bird); and with director Mark Rylance of the Globe Theater.

His work has been featured in Academy Award-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal’s film scores for In Dreams, The Butcher Boy, Public Enemies, Frida, Titus, The Tempest, and Across the Universe (the last four directed by Taymor). As a recording artist for Timeless Records, Williamson has been featured on dozens of recordings, playing saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, piccolo, piano, and synthesizer. He has been awarded Jazz Composition grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Armour Foundation, and his compositions can be heard on various recordings including his Timeless Records CD Big City Magic, his Origin Records CD Standard Transmission, the Turtle Island String Quartet CD Metropolis, and a recent release called Resonance. He has taught at SUNY Purchase, Hunter College, and Williams College. BM, University of Miami; MA, Hunter College. Williamson taught at Bennington from 1994-2021.