William Averill is truly a “collaborative keyboardist”, at home not only at the piano, but equally at the harpsichord, fortepiano, and organ. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia in repertoire ranging from early baroque to avant-garde. His performances “achieve an ideal blend of accompaniment skills as well as individual showmanship” (Audiophile Audition). Mr. Averill has established himself in the field of opera, and has coached over sixty productions for festivals such as the Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Utah Festival Opera, San Diego Opera, and Central City Opera. He has worked with numerous renowned conductors and directors such as John Copley, Tito Capobianco, and Colin Graham. Mr. Averill has played in master classes for Marilyn Horne, Rudolph Piernay, Benita Valente, Harmut Höll, John Wustman, and Håkan Hågegard. He is regularly sought out as a vocal coach by universities and music festivals across the country, in particular due to his expertise in the field of early music as well as his interest in French and Russian vocal repertoire.
His specialization in early music has led to performances at numerous early music festivals around the world where he has worked with Emma Kirkby, Nicholas McGegan, Julianne Baird, and Monica Huggett. He has also had a long relationship with the Mercury Baroque orchestra in Houston, TX, where he serves as harpsichordist, organist, and vocal coach. He has recorded Händel’s Concerti Grossi, Op. 6, Vivaldi’s L’estro armonico, and a suite from Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes with Mercury Baroque, and recently performed Lully’s Armide with them in Paris. Mr. Averill has also conducted productions of Händel and Vivaldi operas for the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he “led with insight and skill” (The Cincinnati Post).
Mr. Averill began his studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where he completed bachelor degrees in piano, flute, and music education. He then spent four years honing and refining his skills at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he completed an MM in Vocal Accompanying, studying with Kenneth Griffiths and Donna Loewy, and an Artist Diploma in Opera Coaching. He holds a doctoral degree from the Early Music Institute of Indiana University- Bloomington, where he majored in harpsichord and fortepiano with Elisabeth Wright.
Mr. Averill has taught at the prestigious Indiana University School of Music, where he had the opportunity to work closely with the famed Met soprano Martina Arroyo, coaching over seventy roles for her opera classes. He also served on the faculty at Ohio University where he taught diction, song repertoire, and headed the collaborative piano program.
Office: Music Building, Room 204
Phone: (806) 742-2270