Gerard Willems was educated in Holland and Australia and concluded his piano studies in Munich with Claudio Arrau’s assistant, Greville Rothon. Presently he is Associate Professor in Piano at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has held teaching positions at the Freiburg Hochschule for Music in 2008 and held the ‘Hephzibah Menuhin’ Chair of Piano at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem in 2000.
Gerard is in demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist and recording artist. His recordings include the Complete Piano Trios of Mozart, the Complete Piano Sonatas of Beethoven and the Complete Piano Concertos of Beethoven. In 2010 he recorded the Diabelli Variations of Beethoven, released in October.
His performances and recordings have gained acclaim worldwide, with two ARIA awards for his Complete Beethoven Sonatas and the ‘World Music DVD Prize’ in New York for his Beethoven Emperor Concerto DVD in 2005. In 2001 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II prize by the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust to research Early Music Performance Practice in Europe and USA.
Gerard broadcasts frequently on ABC FM and was the expert commentator for the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2004 and 2008 for the ABC and was the columnist in the ‘Australian’ for this event. He teaches and lectures worldwide, gives masterclasses and is invited on juries of national and international competitions. He is regarded as a specialist in the first Viennese School.
Gerard was awarded an AM in 2012 for his services as a concert pianist and mentor to young musicians. In 2013 he held the position as Artistic Director of the Southern Highlands International Piano Competition.