William Schimmel (born 1946) is one of the principal architects in the resurgence of the accor
Dr. Schimmel holds Bachelor of Music:, Master of Science and Doctor of Musical Arts
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,
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.
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
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
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, Karen Levitt, 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, Karyn Levitt, 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), Victor/Victoria.
He has worked with directors: Richard Foreman, Peter Brook, Frank Cassaro, Daniel Fish, Gary Sinise,.
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
Music from the Palm Court
In the Shadows
The Theater of the Accordion
The Vaudevillian Pathetique
Dead End Avenue
Lady of Spain and other Realities
Andy Arcari - A Concerto
Symphony #6 - pathetic/pastoral
Old Manayunk - steampunk reality
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
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
Tangos for Year
Jarvis and Friends volume 1
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,
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.
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?
Valentino Dances - with The Minnesota Orchestra
William Schimmel is sometimes regarded as William Schimmel the mythical Weimar School composer,