Included in CBC Music’s 2017 edition of “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30,” Paul Williamson has established himself as one of Canada’s promising young pianists. He received first prize at both the 2014 Canadian National Music Festival and the 2017 Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association National Piano Competition in addition to three semifinal awards. He is also a prizewinner of the 2020 WMC McLellan Competition and received 3rd prize at the 2022 Shean Piano Competition and the 2023 Bader and Overton Canadian Piano Competition.
Williamson completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Manitoba, studying under David Moroz. In the first year of his studies, he won both of the school’s competitions: the annual concerto competition and the Lawrence Genser Music Scholarship competition (given to the most outstanding undergraduate performer). Williamson went on to study at the Colburn School under Fabio Bidini, earning a master’s degree and an Artist Diploma. While at Colburn, Williamson also received artistic guidance from Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
A dedicated teacher himself, Williamson has served on the faculty of the University of Manitoba as a sessional instructor. He has also been a part of the Colburn School's Jumpstart Young Musicians program—an initiative which provides free music lessons for underprivileged youth.
An advocate of new music, Williamson regularly performs contemporary repertoire and has worked alongside many living composers. He has participated in the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Orford Academy program, the Scotia Festival of Music, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, Creative Dialogue XIII, and held residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute. In the spring of 2023, Williamson recorded his debut solo album featuring the music of Franz Liszt for Naxos Records. Williamson is grateful to be a recipient of the Sharon Stevenson Career Development Scholarship and for the support of the Manitoba Arts Council and the BC Arts Council.