Phone: (806) 834-2842
Office: School of Music, Room 005
William Westney, pianist, holds two endowed positions at Texas Tech University – Paul
Whitfield Horn Professor and Eva Browning Artist-in-Residence. In 2008, Dr. Westney
received the highest teaching honor Texas Tech can bestow – the Chancellor's Council
Distinguished Teaching Award. His students have won numerous performance awards, as
well as placements as university faculty members. TTU designated him an Integrated
Scholar in 2014, and the online profile can be seen here.
He was the top piano prizewinner of the Geneva International Competition, and appeared thereafter in European television broadcasts and as soloist with such major orchestras as l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Houston, San Antonio and New Haven Symphonies. Dr. Westney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College in New York and a Masters and Doctorate in performance from Yale University, all with highest honors. He was awarded a Fulbright grant for study in Italy, and while there was the only American winner in auditions held by Radiotelevisione Italiana. He has appeared in recital on four continents; venues include New York's Lincoln Center, the National Gallery and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., St. John's Smith Square in London, National Public Radio ("Performance Today"), Taiwan, Korea, China, Singapore, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and a U.S. State Department tour of Italy. The New York Times termed him a "formidable pianist" and the New York Post described his artistry as "riveting." Critics have praised his recordings of solo and chamber works for CRI and Musical Heritage Society, and Newsweek magazine selected his CRI recording of Leo Ornstein's works as one of its "Ten Best American Music Recordings" of the year.
An internationally noted educator, conference presenter, and author, William Westney has been honored many times with teaching awards, including the Yale School of Music Alumni Association's prestigious "Certificate of Merit,” for his distinctive and innovative contributions to the teaching of musical performance. As a grantee in the U.S. State Department's Fulbright "Senior Specialist" program (Council for International Exchange of Scholars), he traveled in November 2006 to Korea and China for teaching residencies. During 2009-10 Dr. Westney divided his time between Texas and Scandinavia, having been named the Hans Christian Andersen Guest Professor at the University of Southern Denmark (Odense). Dr. Westney's unique "Un-Master Class" performance workshops were described as "fascinating" in a featured New York Times article. They are increasingly in demand in the U.S. and abroad, having been held at such prominent venues as the Aspen School, Peabody Conservatory, Kennedy Center, Royal Conservatory (Toronto), Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), Royal Danish Conservatory, Tanglewood Institute, Royal College of Music (London), Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst (Vienna), Central Conservatory (Beijing) and Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne). Dr. Westney is on the faculty of the InterHarmony summer music festival in Arcidosso, Italy.
As a researcher, Dr. Westney heads up a team that has been awarded one of the inaugural grants of Texas Tech’s Transdisciplinary Research Academy (2012-13). The results of this empirical research have been published in the Belgian philosophy journal Signata and the E-Journal of Music Teachers National Association (2016). He is a member of the Nordic Network for the Integration of Music Informatics, Performance and Aesthetics and the research group Aesthetics of Music and Sound. Since 2009 he has collaborated extensively with Cynthia M. Grund (Philosophy, University of Southern Denmark). Their joint work has been presented at conferences including the Royal Musical Association (UK), American Society for Aesthetics, European Narratology Network, and at symposia at such venues as Finland’s Sibelius Academy, Iceland’s Bifröst University and University of Texas (Austin). He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Music and Meaning. Westney and Grund’s work on incorporating motion capture technology with the study of musical gesture is the subject of a featured article in the inaugural edition (2011) of Texas Tech’s online research journal Discoveries. See article and additional links here.
Schirmer Performance Editions released his edition, and CD recording, of piano etudes by Stephen Heller (2005) and Friedrich Burgmuller (2009), and Lyric Pieces by Edvard Grieg in 2013. In 2003 Amadeus Press published William Westney’s first book, The Perfect Wrong Note, to critical acclaim. Having sold over 20,000 copies worldwide, it is a "well-thought-out approach to music instruction to which many aspire, but which few attain" according to the Library Journal. American Record Guide described it as "refreshing and rewarding," and Clavier magazine’s review described him as a "master teacher with openhearted insights." A Japanese-language edition of the book was released in 2016. Recognizing the impact of the book and of Dr. Westney’s many presentations, Music Teachers National Association named him the winner of its Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award for 2012.
For more information, see his website, www.williamwestney.com. Piano, Dimensions of Performance, Dynamics of Studio Teaching, Collaborative Techniques for Pianists.