Classical music, although a part of Gina Williams’ past, was not always something she considered to be part of her future.
When Williams was 11 years old, she received her first piano as a gift from one of her teachers.
Finding she was highly capable with the instrument, her proficiency led to her competing across the GTA and capturing numerous awards.
Some even went as far to call her a “child prodigy.”
“Oshawa was pretty much the home that started me off as a classical musician,” she recalls.
Williams would later complete her masters of music at the University of Alberta, but admits after leaving school she had no interest in pursuing a career in classical music.
“After I finished at U of A, that’s when I went right into pop/rock,” Williams says.
Looking back at her youth, she admits feeling like she never truly fit in with the classical music scene.
“I felt quite alienated. No matter how good I was, I was an imitator. I honestly never thought I would do classical music again.”
Yet a few years ago, Williams says she felt God calling her back to classical music.
With this inspiration, divine or not, she returned to some classical pieces she had written, some dating back to her teenage years while also working on new material.
The fruits of these labours resulted in her first classical album Olympiad, which was released in late-November 2017.
The majority of the recording of Olympiad was performed in Ukraine, where she collaborated with the Academic Choir of the National Radio of Ukraine.
Calling Olympiad a “soothing album”, Williams is quite proud of the accomplishment.
“One song Piano Messiah, it’s just one of those symphonies that just soars.”
Prior to her latest project, any feelings of alienation did not stop Williams from building a successful career for herself, performing across Canada, the U.S., Japan, Russia, and China and has written and performed songs in 10 different languages.
In 2012, she organized a live show in Surrey, B.C. called The Dare, which featured genres ranging from hip-hop to classic rock to EDM.
During that show, Williams debuted a piano concerto she had been working on, a role she hadn’t taken on in some time.
“It was trippy performing as a classical pianist,” she said, adding it was at this point “she forgave the past” and began to gravitate back to her classical roots.
Feedback on Olympiad so far has “been nothing less than stellar” according to Williams and she is planning to release more classical music in the future.
For more information or to order a copy of Olympiad, visit ginawilliams.com.