Mandolin CentralMandolin Central  
Tony Williamson  Highlights and bio

David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg, TW, Don Stiernberg,  Mike Compton, and  Rich  Del  Grosso:   Faculty of  Mandolin Symposium  "07

TW, Sam Bush, David Grisman at Merlefest

tw MM
TW and Mike Marshall in Brazil '07

Ralph Stanley, Tony and Gary Williamson


 A World Class Performer
  “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.
GVR 1972
Green Valley Ramblers 1972:  standing left to right, Bill Mollman, Gary Williamson, Albert Vestal; kneeling, Tony Williamson.

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

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”)..
mike, tony & donnie

Mike Marshall, TW and Don Stiernberg

Bringing Diversity to Mandolin Music
  Tony Williamson has performed in many different musical genres and ensembles, including Bluegrass acts like the Bluegrass Alliance in 1976 and 1977 (a band whose alumni  also includes Vince Gill,  Dan Crary, Sam Bush and Tony Rice).  Also during this time, Williamson  performed classical mandolin with Duke University Symphony Orchestra, jazz mandolin with “Champagne Charlie”, and as studio musician appeared on record with many different artists and musical styles including John Hartford, Mike Cross,Bobby Hicks, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Clifton, Mike Seeger, Vassar Clements, Jerry Douglas, Jimmy Murphy, John Duffy and Tom Gray.

Mandolin Central Beginnings
  On January 1, 1990, Tony Williamson founded Mandolin Central, which has now become an international resource of mandolin lore, vintage instruments and accessories.  Mandolin Central has also become the #1 worldwide distributor of flight cases by Calton of Canada.

Tony Williamson
Bringing the Mandolin Back to the Forefront of American Music
  During the turn-of-the-century America, the mandolin experienced a popularity that can be described as a “rage” or a “craze.”  This once beloved instrument was nearly forgotten.  The mandolin, however,  has now made a dramatic comeback nearly 100 years later.  Tony Williamson’s “The Sound of the American Mandolin” makes a strong case for this comeback, as his playing delights audiences and his discussions inform and entertain.  As a logical offshoot of his work at Mandolin Central, one of the leading resources for vintage musical instruments.

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