It is with deep sadness and a profound sense of loss that we mark the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Patrick Williams. Both an SCL Ambassador and an Advisory Board member, he was that unique composer, arranger and songwriter able to turn his hand to any musical genre with consummate ease. His body of work spans the spectrum – from film and TV where he received an Oscar® nomination and 4 Emmy® awards from an astounding 22 nominations, to his many acclaimed jazz recordings which garnered him 2 Grammys® from 17 nominations, and his concert works, one of which ‘American Concerto’ was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in music.
Pat was inducted as an SCL Ambassador in 2010 by then-president Dan Foliart whose speech at the ceremony perfectly reflects the high regard in which Pat was held by his musical peers.
Other past-presidents of the SCL also wanted to share their thoughts.
Bruce Broughton reminisced, “The first time I met Pat Williams was as a fan. I was working at CBS and saw Pat leaving a projection room after a spotting. I went up, introduced myself, and told him I was a great admirer of his work. I particularly liked a horn riff I had just heard on one of his scores to Streets of San Francisco. I sang an approximation of it to him, and he looked at me and laughed, and said, ‘Yeah, that sounds like something I’d do.’ Of the many things I’ll miss about Pat, it’s his great laugh that’s at the top of the list.”
Arthur Hamilton, a longtime friend and songwriting partner of Pat wrote, “His music was muscular, sensuous, powerful, and captivatingly rhythmical. Using the very best musicians, he was able to pull them or push them to the places he wanted them to go. He was a great friend, a great father and husband, and he was unfailingly your friend. And he was loved by his peers.”
Pat, for more than fifty years you have shared your music, your sense of humor and your generous spirit with our musical community. Everyone whose life you touched is better for the experience. Farewell, maestro.