Roger Williams was a virtuoso pianist whose hit, Autumn Leaves was the greatest selling piano recording of all time and the only instrumental recording to reach number one on the Billboard charts, with more than 2 million sold. Roger Williams received 21 gold and platinum albums, including his hits Autumn Leaves,Born Free, Impossible Dream, Maria, Till,Lara’s Theme (Somewhere My Love), Nadia’s Theme, and the movie soundtrack for Somewhere in Time.
Roger Williams was nick-named, “Mr. Piano” and proclaimed, “The Pianist to the Presidents,” having performed for nine commander-in-chiefs at the White House from Truman to Bush. Known as an electrical performer and an adept improvisor, Williams effortlessly switched between musical styles and could touch any audience, from teenagers to senior citizens.
Williams is photographed above at “The Roger Williams Limited Edition Gold Piano,” which is the only piano series Steinway & Sons has designed to honor a pianist. Lyrics to the first verse of Autumn Leaves decorate the piano’s gold perimeter and falling autumn leaves appear between each line of the verse. Inside is an exquisite custom-painted landscape reflecting the brilliant colors and hues of autumn foliage. Williams was a “Steinway Artist” and the first pianist to be honored by Steinway with their “Steinway Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Phantom of the Opera at Disney
In 1989, Roger performed his haunting and powerful arrangement of the Phantom of the Opera at Disney’s Epcot Center. He surprised