William Schimmel (born 1946) is one of the principal architects in the resurgence of the accor
dion, the revival of the Tango in America and the philosophy of Musical Reality - composition with pre-
existing music: Anthony Tommasini  in the New York Times regarded Schimmel’s Realities “in the Grand
Tradition of the opera transcriptions of Liszt” Composer, Otto Luening (who studied with Busoni), told
Schimmel that he was doing what Liszt and Busoni were doing but in a new Contemporary way.

Dr. Schimmel  holds Bachelor of Music:, Master of Science and Doctor of Musical Arts
degrees in composition from the Juilliard School where he studied with Elliot Carter, Vincent Persichetti
 Roger Sessions, Hugo Weisgall, Luciano Berio and a diploma from the Neupauer Conservatory of Music in performance and composition where he studied with Dr. Jacob C Neupauer, Lotta Hertlein, David Lampe and Paul Creston.

He is a prolific composer with nearly 5000 works in many mediums including Broadway, Off Broadway, Solo, Chamber Music, Music Theatre, Liturgical Music and Performance Art.  His music has been performed  by/at The Houston Symphony, The Orchestra of St. Lukes, The Grand Rapids Symphony, The Juilliard Symphony, The Pennsylvania Sinfonia,  The Licorice Stick Ensemble, The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, WBAI Free Music Store, The Juilliard Ensemble, The New Juilliard  Ensemble, The Westchester  Philharmonic, Serious Fun at Lincoln Center, The Washington Square  Chamber Players, Parnassus, The Absolute Ensemble, The Soldier String Quartet, The Sonic Boom Festival, The Sirius String Quartet, North/South Consonance, The Knitting Factory,  Composers' Collaborative, Composers' Concordance (founding member and Advisory Board member), HiFi New Music Festival, Riverside Church,  Cardinal Hayes High School, West Park Church, Lincoln Center Library, Calvary and St George Church, Brooklyn College, The Graduate Center CUNY, Drom, Kostabi World, Christ and St Stephen’s Church, Manhattan School of Music, General Theological Seminary, Alice Tully Hall, The Koncerthaus (Berlin), Bohemian National Hall, DiMenna Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Rose Hall, National Theater (Sao Paulo), Mistura Fina (Rio), Issue Project Room, The Cabrilllo Festival, The Village Vanguard, The Village Gate, William Paterson College, The Jazz Bakery,  Skirball Center,  Park Avenue Armory, Roulette, The Mostly Mozart Festival,
Cardinal Dougherty High School, University of Pennsylvania, Union and General Theological Seminaries, St Patrick's Cathedral, Merkin Concert  Hall, Birdland, The Jazz Standard, Empac Center (Troy) Carnegie Hall, New York Chamber Ensemble, Windscape,  The Music Theatre Group, The Acting Company, The Public Theater,  The Quog Music Theatre  (founding member with Eric Salzman), Le Poussin Rouge, The No Smoking Playhouse (composer in residence), The American  Place Theatre, The Edinburgh Festival, The Long Wharf Theatre, The Steppenwolf Theatre, Loretto Hilton Theatre (St. Louis), Albright-Knox Gallery (Buffalo), The West Bank,  Geffen Hall, The John Houseman  Theatre, The Studio-Muse  Dance/Music/Theater Company (founding member with Micki Goodman), The Tango Project (founding member with Michael Sahl), The New Tango Project (founding member with Eric Salzman), Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Clark Studio Theatre Lincoln Center, The Caramour Festival, The Punk Accordion  Summit, Circle In the Square Uptown (Broadway), numerous soloists and, of course, himself.

            He performs music in many genres, mixing genres as well as “nailing” genres ,has commissioned and premiered  literally hundreds of new works, has written a number of books and articles and has made numerous  recordings and videos. He is also the subject of a number of scholarly dissertations, books and articles. He has received grants from the American  Music Center,  Meet The Composer, 1-Park, two teaching fellowships from The Juilliard School, Two Rodgers and Hammerstein Scholarships from The Juilliard School and The Dr. Albert Szmari Scholarship, also from Juilliard. He received a Composers' Citation  from The American Accordionists' Association  in honor of his composition, The Spring Street Ritual, which was the test piece for the 1979 Coupe Mondiale World Competition. He received The Confederations international Association  Merit Award for his contributions as a composer, performer and philosopher  on the international accordion  scene.  He received a Merit Award from the American Accordionists' Association for his contributions spanning fifty years plus the "Accordionist of the Year'' Award in 1988. He received the Keyboard  magazine readers' poll award in 1992 as "Best Accordionists’ Association for his extensive stylistic  breath. He has served as Artist in Residence of The American  Accordionist's where he also  has served as Distinguished Lecturer in Residence and member of the Governing Board. He serves on the Advisory Board of Composers’ Concordance founded by his student, Patrick Hardish.
He has been titled: “Gotham’s Happy Warrior of the Accordion” by New Yorker Magazine, The World’s Most Important Accordionist by “Accordion Stars Magazine” as well as elected to the World Accordion Hall of Fame by Accordion Star Magazine .

BTW, He has been an accomplished Bassoonist who has studied with William Gruner and Joseph Ciccimaro and a self taught Tuba Player while he was in the Band and Wind Ensemble of Cardinal Dougherty
High School in Philadelphia. He also premiered his first Woodwind Trio there (around 1963).

            Regarded  as The World's Greatest  Accordionist by National Public Radio, He is best known for his hit recordings  with The Tango Project, number one on the Billboard Charts and winning the Stereo Review Album of the Year Award as well as a number of Grammy Nominations, who also appears with AI Pacino in the film Scent of a Woman for which Pacino won an Oscar, as well as performances in True Lies,  Mr. & Mrs.  Smith (trailer),  Sex and the Citv, Real Sex, Sesame Street, Law and Order, The Medium,  All the King's Men, The Humbling, Equinox, Household  Saints, Breaking In,  Just  a Kiss, Holocaust, The  Dane Curse as well as his performances in Kun Dun, State and Maine, Smoke, Little Women, The Beaver, Rock the Kasbah, The Producers, The Quantum Leap, Waiting for the Moon, Halmoni’s Pot, Strong Medicine, The Baker, New York, I love you, Richard the Third, The Good Fight, Antesis and the Astronaut, Eric Bentley, a tribute, Turn Me Inside out, Accordion Rising and many other films including composing and performing in a collection of five prize winning films for The Nature Conservancy and other lndie features including Far From Poland, Darrow, That Won’t Work  ( F. Murray Abraham ) and the silent film King Vidor classic, The Sky Pilot.

           He has performed  with most major symphony  orchestras in the U.S (including the Kirov as well as the Israel Philharmonic), virtually every chamber group and New Music venue in New York- notably  North-South Consonance (as a composer as well as performer), The Argento Ensemble, The Talea Ensemble, Ensemble, Sospeso, Sequitur, The Flea Theatre, Le Poisson Rouge, Ozawa Hall Tangelwood,  Pen International, International Contemporary Ensemble,  New York Festival of Song, Orpheus, Philharmonia Virtuosi,  The American Symphony Orchestra, The Tank, Either/Or, The Juilliard Ensemble (founding member), The New Juilliard Ensemble, The Public Theatre, the Metropolitan and New York City Operas, Century Club, the New York Philharmonic, The Vienna Philharmonic, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln, Center, Birdland, The Jazz Standard, The Maverick Festival, The Savannah Music Festival and virtually every major symphony orchestra in the  U.S. including The Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, extensive work and recording with The Minnesota Orchestra, recording with the Chicago and Milwaukee Symphonies and most recent appearances with The Eugene and Nashville and Syracuse Symphonies, opening for They might be Giants as well as avant-garde groups, rock bands and Jazz ensembles -  notably Ted Nash's Odeon and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis and his own group, The Yorkvillians, featuring Dan Cooper, Max Maples and Michiyo Suzuki.

   His work with Tom Waits is notable, stating: “Bill Schimmel doesn’t play the Accordion, he is an Accordion” and is regarded as one of the nine musicians who helped define the Tom Waits sound - notably Raindogs and Frank’s Wild Years, as well as other greats such as Sting and the late great  Leopold Stokowski (who has conducted Schimmel's Portrait No 1 with the Juilliard Symphony).

He conducts a yearly three day Master Class and Concert Series (The Seminars) originally sponsored by the American  Accordionists’ Association and now The Accordion Global Association, dedicated to the exploration  and establishment of an accordion  culture,  which is in its thirtiest season. These events have  take place at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York. They are now presented in a Virtual manner.  The Seminar recordings are in process as part of the Lincoln Center Archives. He has recently
presented a six day residency entitled: Accordion Mixology, at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts as well as a concert entitled Not Entirely Schubert, also at Lincoln Center Library. A new concert is pending.
He has  recently completed a 42 hour work, Tributaries: The first installment, 7 hours, was performed by himself and live streamed  for a period of 7 weeks - one hour per week.

He has served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Brooklyn College (CUNY), Neupauer Conservatory (dean), New School University, Upsala College, Buffalo Academy of the Visual and Performing Arts, La Guardia High School, New York University and has lectured  on accordion/composition related subjects at Columbia, Princeton,  Brandeis, University Of Missouri at Kansas City, Duke, The Graduate Center (CUNY),  Manhattan School of Music,  Mannes   College of Music,  The Janacek Conservatory (Ostrava, Czech Republic),  Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa), SUNY Brockport, SUNY Oswego,  University of Arkansas at Jonesboro , Santa Clara University and at Microsoft.

            He has performed under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Eric Leinsdorf, Roderick Cox, Sir George Solti, Leon Fleisher, Sara Caldwell, Julius Rudell, Gunther Schuller, Loren Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, Dennis Russell Davies, John Nelson (studied with),  Luciano Berio,  Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Lucian Calliet, Leon Hyman (also studied with), Anthony Korf, Michel Galante,  Zubin Mehta, Leon Bolstein,  Lukas Foss, Max Lifchitz, Gian Carlo Guerrero,  Wynton Marsalis, Ted Nash, Lalo Shifrin, Donald Coakly, Valeri Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Eji Oije, Osmo Vaska, Franz Weiser - Most,  Jaap van Zweden,  Yannick Nezet - Zequin,  Nicholas Carter,  Paul Dunkel, James Baker,  Jacob Neupauer (as well as studied with),  James Levine among others and has appeared  with singers such as Angelina Reaux, Placido Domingo,  Lisa Kirchner, Karyn Levitt,  Ulla Soukko, Gay Marshall, Juliet Koka, Andre Solomon Glover, Lauren  Flanigan, Rene Fleming, Frederica von Strade, Andrea Bocelli, Mark Nadler, Ultra Violet, Donna Murphy, Patti LuPone, Meryl Streep, Raul Julia,  Ute Lemper, Liza Minelli, Theresa Stratas, The Hans Eisler Trio, Bill Deal, Marianne Faithful, Cathy Berberian, Jesse Norman,  as well as working with choreographers: principally Micki Goodman (to whom he is married), Bill T. Jones, Martha Clarke, Daniel Nagrin, Liz Keene,  June Lewis and instrumentalists: Sir James Galway, Isztak Perlman,  Allysia Svigals, Peter Lobdell, Jed Distler, Allyssa Lamb,  Martin Kuuksman.  Dr. Mark Birnbaum,  Lee McClure, Michael Sahl,  Mary Rowell,  Kirk Nurock, Craig Norback,Wynton Marsalis, Ted Nash, Sting, John Cale, Dr.Hugo Goldenzweig, David Byrne, Elliott Sharp, William Komaiko, Corn Mo, Pete Jarvis, Brian Dewan, Tom Waits and many others.

            He is a renowned teacher, profoundly influencing a whole new generation of accordionists, composers, performers, teachers, performance artists, musicologists and cross-disciplined artists. He is the director  of the Neupauer Conservatory Order of the Shield Program, a private studies program for gifted students  on a graduate  and post graduate level.

            He is an authority of the music of Kurt Weill and has recorded all of Weill's music which includes the accordion. He also served as accordionist  and associate conductor of Joseph Papp's production of The Three Penny Opera (Stanley Silverman Richard Foreman version) starring Raul Julia and fur the Chelsea  Theatre's  production  of Happy End, starring  Meryl Streep - both on Broadway. He also performed in numerous other Broadway Shows: Bent, Zorba, Three Penny  Opera (Sting) ,Ghetto (Composer/MD), Elephant Man, The Cradle will Rock. Irma la Douce, Juno, Victor Victoria, The Prince of Grand Street, She love Me, An American in Paris, Carousel, Anyone can Whistle and others and has served as a composer,  musical director and consultant  for numerous Broadway, Off Broadway,  Opera and Music Theatre projects: Ghetto,  Schmulnik's Waltz, Paradise Park, The Tennis Game, Prairie Avenue, Red Eye, Masquerade, Purgatory,  Dick Deterred, A  Man in the House,  A little Wine with Lunch, Dreams of Dirty WISdom, Fire Waltz, The Old Man, The Juniper Tree, Smaze, Mothers and Daughters,  Fromage Dangereux,  Wozzeck, Vanessa, Lost in the Stars,  The Floating Box, Jane Avril,  Shock Headed Peter, The Fuhrer Bunker, Lazarus, Biographity,, The Conjurer,   Piaf, a Remembrance,  Times and Appetites of Talouse Lautrec, People II,    The Special,  Will there be Singing?, The Grand Tour, She Loves Me, How do We do,  Squeeze  Box, The Last Golem Show,  A Singer's Journey, TaDaDa, Opera Josephine, Watchman/Newsman, Welcome to Heaven/Hell, The Birds, Dog Logic,  Chicago, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, Frank's Wild Years  (Tom Waits),    Song of Singapore,  In Praise of Capital Punishment, Stranger Here Myself, David and Bathsheba,  Wozzeck, Hamlet, Marie Galante, The Hiders, Coming Through and countless others. He collaborated with distinguished writers such as David Edgar, Scott Burris,  John von Hartz, Wendy Kesselman,  Peter Norback. Charles Mee, W.D. Snodgrass, Timothy S. Mayer,  Jane Marla Robbins, Ron Sarno, Anne Randolf, Wallace Shawn, Jeff Wanshell , Allan Knee,  Jerry Herman  and most extensively, George W.S.Trow.

He has worked with directors: Richard Foreman, Peter Brook, Frank Cassaro, Daniel Fish, Gary Sinise,.
 Carl Weber,  Wyn Handman, Tom O’Horgan, Gordon Hunt, Ran Avni, Michael Posnick, Anton Perich,  Norman Marshall, George Wolfe Reilly, Lyn Austin, Micki Goodman and Timothy S. Mayor - and producers such as Lyn Austin, John Mc Clure, Paul Leka, Eric Salzman, Ilhan Mimaroglu, The Steppenwolf Theatre and the Public Theatre.

He has appeared  on numerous  radio programs as a guest performer and commentator: WNYC - Around Town, All Things Considered,  and The Next Big Thing (as The Accordion  Philosopher starting the series  with his title:  This is What I live for), National Public Radio's Fresh Air starring Terry Gross- as guest and sometime  commentator, The Best of Fresh Air,  BBC, WQXR's The Listening Room, Kitchen  Classics, WFUV,  WFMU, WBAI. WKCR and A Prairie Home Companion. TV appearances include City Arts, The Best of City Arts, MSNBC'S Edge/Wise, What it Takes/Nancy Gold and David Letterman. He now hosts his own internet radio show with Brian Dewan, The Old In and Out, on WS Accordion Radio.



He is married to dancer, choreographer, director and filmmaker, Micki Goodman. Together they founded the Studio Muse Dance/Music/Theatre Troupe and produced concerts in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

He was music director for National Association for Regional Ballet and headed The Music and choreographer  department and well as the Music and Theatre Department at Brooklyn College.

Dr. Schimmel has written over 70 books and articles related to the accordion and other related subjects.


A short list of albums that contain his “Realities” are:

Two to Tango

Accordion revisited

Small Hotels

Bad Renaissance

Music from the Palm Court

White Rabbit


In the Shadows

Vienna Genesis

The Theater of the Accordion

Duality Wrecks


The Vaudevillian Pathetique

Dead End Avenue

Lady of Spain and other Realities

Concerto Bullo

Road Rage

Broadway Decamped


Andy Arcari - A Concerto





Symphony #6 - pathetic/pastoral

Old Manayunk - steampunk reality

Weatherwatch/Free Jazz

Something to sing about

What’s Tango about the Classics 1

What’s Tango about the Classics 2

What’s Tango about the Classics 3

The Tango Project in Vermont

Incitation to Desire

Twilight Time

Blues, Hues and Views


The Vaudevillian Pathetique

The K Trio

Music by Mary

Contemporary Music for the Accordion

Jazz at Mike’s Place - paintings, Michael Schimmel

The Mystical Accordion

Die Wintereisse

Tangos for Year

Tango Diablo!

Jarvis and Friends volume 1

Duality Wrecks


Requiem: Mozart

It Feels like Christmas

Pray for me

Holding on for Dear Love

Lonely is a word


His complete discography is available on www.billschimmel.com - as well as his many books.

Dr. Schimmel’s main collaborator over the past 43 years has been his wife, choreographer,
dancer, director and video artist, Micki Goodman - who also designs clothing under the name of Sydknee.

Their Dance/Music/Theater works consist of:

Anthology for a Spacial Buenos Aires, Rock Suite, Lethe, Looking at Television, The Mind and Itself, Four Tantrick Pieces: O Honey, Call me, Ha, In the Palm of my Hand and Goodbye Hee Hee, Spanish Suite, Adagio in One Place and Soft Core.
 Later, they founded the Institute for Private Studies, a pluralistic vision think tank and have collaborated in a series of full length theatre works which have made accordion history: Road to Patagonia, Classic Reality,  Opera Fisarmonica, Small Hotels, Strange Narcissism (new realities on early music),  The Rite of Fall and Dead End Avenue. Today, Studio Muse is a production and recording company and the Institute for Private Studies is its educational arm.

Their video works include: Tango of the Winds, Shaman ll,   Archipelago, Civil War  Tangos,  Zen and the Art of the foxtrot, Michael/25, The Tango Project in Vermont, A brief history of Plaid, Scarlatti was here, The Kid: Billy, The Reality of La Cumparsita, Redemption, Ever/Never, Grey Car II, The Owl I thought I knew,  A Bellows Pleated World, Redemption,  F… the King,  The Accordion and the Skirt, Inside out/Insight, Anyone who had a heart, 1601, The Owl I thought I knew, Requiem: Mozart and the feature length work, The Unforgivable Sin - A Video Symphony in Four Parts: Evidence, Falling From Grace, Parousia and What is this thing called the Accordion?
Their videos can be seen and heard on Youtube.
They have one son, Michael, age 43, a visual artist and drummer with Down Syndrome. Every Monday Michael, with his dad on accordion and his Autistic friend Keith on bass, host Mike’s Place, a band that covers every style of music conceivable and is open to anyone who wants to visit and join in.
Much of his Autobiographical can be found in his Boundless Book, Falling from Grace (Autobiography of and Accordionist), The Accordion in the Americas, article by Marion Jacobson, Time Space and High School by William Schimmel, Accordionist on a Mission in the age of Guitars by Allan Kozinn - New York Times, William Schimmel, a bellows pleated World by Jane Rabinsky - The Juilliard Journal.
The legendary “Learning from Lawrence Welk” contains the paper of that title delivered at the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1981, as well as “The Potential of the Stradella System in Contemporary Accordion Music “ delivered at the American Accordion Musicological Society Symposium 1970 and “Get to know your instrument” for the Accordions Arts Society.
Also, check out his  e - books - a new one each year.
His other recordings include:
Raindogs and Frank’s Wild Years  with Tom Waits
Strange Weather with Marianne Faithful. - As tears go by
Kurt Weill:
Lost in the Stars - Orchestra of St Lukes
A Stranger Here Myself - Angelina Reaux
Stranger Here Myself  - Mark Nadler
The Threepenny Opera - Silverman/Foreman
Archipelago - Martin Kuuksmann
The Tango Project  - Schimmel/Sahl/Kurtis.  - Schimmel/Sahl/Rowell

Valentino Dances - with The Minnesota Orchestra
Curriculum Vitae and Time Bomb - Lukas Foss. - with Jan Williams
To Spike Jones in Heaven - Dave Soldier
Umbrellas in Mint - Lisa Kirchner
Peter Jarvis and Friends
Carols for a Cure - with the cast of Les Mis
An American in Paris - Broadway cast album
Carousel - Broadway cast album
The Final Alice - David Del Tredici
Pincks and Blue - Alla Borzova

William Schimmel is sometimes regarded as William Schimmel the mythical Weimar School composer,
The Accordionist, William Schimmel, The Composer/Performer, William Schimmel, William Schimmel
The Composer/Performer, Dr. William Schimmel, teacher/philosopher, Bill Schimmel, Bill, William
Schimel, Bili Shimil, D.J Schive, J. Jr Shimel and so forth. Willy Shims, W.M.Mill, William “Bill” Schimmel
but thankfully not ……