William HeilesProfessor of Piano and Chair of Piano Division
B.M., Oberlin Conservatory of Music; M.M. and D.M.A., University of Illinois; advanced studies in Munich as a Fulbright Scholar
William Heiles earned his B.Mus. degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1958. Following two years of study in Munich, Germany, on a Fulbright grant, he earned his M.M. and D.M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been a member of the piano faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1968, serving as chair of the Piano Division since 1980. Professor Heiles performs frequently as pianist and harpsichordist in recitals and festivals. His repertoire spans the early Baroque to the present, with special emphasis on Bach, Chopin, Schumann, and music of recent decades. He has presented numerous local premieres of major works by Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, György Ligeti, and other contemporary composers.
His recordings include CDs of Pianississimo by Donald Martino and The Laughing Third by Herbert Brun, as well as performances and analytic discussions of the three Boulez piano sonatas, broadcast over public radio and held by music libraries in this country and abroad. Professor Heiles teaches an international class of students ranging from undergraduate majors to doctoral candidates and has given many workshops and master classes for local, regional, and national piano teachers groups.
To be a pianist in today's sophisticated musical world you need to know repertoire and musical styles from the Baroque period to the present. You need the skill and confidence to find convincing answers to interpretive questions and viable solutions to technical problems. You need the flexibility to adjust to unforeseen circumstances and the enthusiasm and persistence to take on and conquer new challenges. As a teacher, I will help you achieve these goals. I'll work with you steadily, patiently, and with full commitment. I'll share my knowledge and offer advice and encouragement. Most importantly, I'll help you find your artistic individuality and achieve your individual best.