“Nearly 45,000 people crowded into Meredith College Park in Raleigh, NC on Sunday September 1 to hear Pops In The Park. This program featured the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra with guest Tony Williamson on mandolin. This marks the first use of the mandolin in the Symphony’s illustrious 75 year history. Williamson , who recorded his version of Selected Disney classics on his CD, “Across The Grain” , was featured on a delightful program of Disney movie themes. William Curry conducted the concert which was broadcast on WRAL-TV5 .” Since then, Tony’s performances have received standing ovations at “La Citadelle” in Montreal and at the Merlefest Midnight Jam in 1994. Tony has performed with the North Carolina Symphony and the Duke University Symphony, and has also organized delightful impromptu mandolin “orchestras” at Merlefest (with guests John Cowan, Tim O’Brien, Mark Shatz, Tut Taylor and 16 others) and at the Old Settler’s Day in Round Rock, Texas (with David Grisman, Buck White and Grisman Quintet members). Other recent performances include the Mandolin Summit held at the International School in Atlanta, Georgia; Hotel Wellington in Manhattan, New York City; and Michael Feldman’s “Whaddaya know”, for National Public Radio. He also organized a tribute to Jethro Burns with a mandolin trio consisting of mandolin legends David Grisman and Sam Bush playing with Williamson at the 1995 Merlefest Midnight Jam.
Chicago Tribune names Tony Williamson CD top 5 of 2001 In a cover-photo spread, Williamson received top honors from the Chicago Tribune on Dec 3, 2001 for his CD “Still Light of the Evening” (Mapleshade).. In the accompanying article, David Ryoko writes: “Tony Williamson is among the finest mandolinists alive, and the instrumental passages, featuring an excellent band assembled for this session, dazzle without ever lapsing into flashiness. This is great music hiding behind genuine humility.”
One Man, Many Mandolins
“Mandolin virtuoso Tony Williamson. sure can play, and what he doesn’t know about mandolins, nobody does.” This is how the Acoustic Musician magazine described Tony Williamson’s performances, which have included the Airforce museum in Savannah, GA with fiddle legend Vassar Clements and Jeff and Bobby Autry. Tony’s new album, “Still Light of the Evening” was chosen as one of the five best Bluegrass albums of the year by the Chicago Tribune.. This remarkable recording has also received great notices from Sing Out! and Bluegrass Unlimited. Tony Williamson has been featured on mandolin at a number of venues, including with David Grisman at the Woodruff Center in Atlanta, GA and for vocal legend Luciano Pavarotti at a post-concert reception in Raleigh, NC. Tony is also included in the Mel Bay book “Mandolin Masters: Featuring solos by the world’s finest mandolinists.” Williamson can also be heard on many CD releases, including “Across the Grain”, “Living On the Hallelujah Side” and “Christmas at Doobie Shea”, which were produced by Tim Austin of Doobie Shea Records. Tony received an Indie nomination in Southern Gospel music for his album “Let Us Cross Over the River”. These albums showcase Williamson’s style with supporting musicians that include Dan Tyminski and Jerry Douglas, (both featured in the hit movie & soundtrack “O Brother Where Art Thou”)..