Biography - Adé Williams
Adé Williams is the first place laureate of the Junior Division of the Sphinx Competition (2012), the Vivaldi Seasons Competition (Cambridge, 2012), the DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers (2011), Sejong Cultural Society’s Music Competition (2010, 2009), and numerous other competitions, beginning with the Walgreen’s National Concerto Competition (2005) at age eight.
Recent thrills include acceptance to Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan (2015), a second solo performance at Carnegie Hall (2014), international soloing in South Africa, England, Switzerland, and Bermuda, and three U.S. tours with Sphinx Virtuosi (2011–2013). Adé’s orchestral debut with the Chicago Sinfonietta (2004) at age six as that orchestra’s youngest ever soloist launched a wonderful succession of solo performances: South Side Family Chamber Orchestra (2006); Highland Park Strings at Ravinia (2007); Lake Forest Symphony (2009); Illinois Symphony Orchestra with Rachel Barton Pine at Millennium Park (2010); Waukegan Symphony Orchestra (2011, 2014); and Sphinx Laureate extended solo series (2012–2014), including solos with Ann Arbor Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Butler County Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Modesto Symphony, New World Symphony, Northwest Indiana Symphony, and South Bend Symphony.
In 2004 Adé founded SugarStrings, a string trio of cousins known for exhilarating performances on 98.7 WFMT, CNN/Essence, NBC Nightly News, ABC7, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Milwaukee Symphony/Ravinia affairs, and numerous civic and charitable events for the City of Chicago, La Rabida Children’s Hospital, Haiti relief, Caribbean Children’s Fund, Living Room Café Soup Kitchen, The Cradle, and other worthy causes around the country.
In 2012, Adé produced her first Adé & Friends benefit concert for a school on Chicago’s south side. Through her second concert, she plans to eliminate child homelessness in the Chicago Public Schools. To discuss her musical life and philanthropic ambitions, Adé has been invited to speak at an Arts and Culture course at the University of Michigan (2012), the KIN Global Summit 2013 at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University, and the Milken Institute’s Changing the World in Innovative Ways Conference panel, “Why Wait: Young People Blazing Trails” (2014).
Adé is a Betsey and John Puth Fellow (2012–2014), an Alexandra and John Nichols Scholar (2010–2012), and the first William Warfield Scholar (2010–2014) at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy program for gifted pre-college musicians where she studied privately with artist faculty Almita and Roland Vamos for nine years. She is also a Harry J. Lennix Scholar (2015, 2001), a Joyce and Roger D. Isaacs Scholar (2014), a From the Top/Jack Kent Cooke Scholar (2013), Delta Sigma Theta’s “Emerging Artist” (2013), a recipient of the Linda and Isaac Stern Charitable Foundation Award, in memory of Isaac Stern (2013), a Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation grant and instrument loan recipient (2005–2012), a Bauder Fellow (2012), and a Links Fellow (2012). She is a charter member of the Junior Division of the Chicago Music Association.
Adé is a freshman at the Curtis Institute of Music where she studies with Ida Kavafian. She enjoys time with friends and family (especially little brother, cellist Jonathan), ballet, travel, opera, Shakespeare, and driving.