Shortly after pianist William McNally’s ninth birthday, he performed for the first time in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the AMSA World Piano Competition, and has returned often, including once in Stern Auditorium as principal bassist of the Mt. Lebanon H.S. Orchestra, and more recently in Zankel Hall as director of two opera-shorts presented by the Remarkable Theatre Brigade. He has also performed in Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall, Elebash Hall, and other venues in New York.
In 2013, Dr. McNally released a CD of works by Brahms, Reger and Busoni as part of the Victor Elmaleh Collection, which the New York Times called “exhilarating” “adventurous,” and “commanding.”
Dr. McNally has been recognized as a ragtime pianist and composer of numerous ragtime-styled works. He is the first three-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest’ New Rag Contest and also a winner of the main Regular (performance) Division, appearing at ragtime festivals around the country. A CD release (Chickens ‘n’ Kittens: a Ragtime Coup) follows his interest in modern and classically trained ragtime composers. He has presented papers on the transatlantic voyages of ragtime at the Society for American Music 2014 Conference and at the Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, MO.
He is a veteran of numerous summer festivals, including Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and Mannes’ International Keyboard Institute and Festival. In 2010, as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, he collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Company, coached with musicians including Emanuel Ax, Peter Serkin, Dawn Upshaw and Oliver Knussen, and his performance of George Perle’s “Concertino for Piano, Winds and Timpani” was hailed as a “powerful performance” by the New York Times. Dr. McNally’s affiliation with Pianofest in the Hamptons spanned five seasons, where he served as Dean of Students.
Receiving degrees from the Mannes College of Music and Temple University, Dr. McNally studied with Jacob Lateiner, Jerome Rose, Harvey Wedeen and Lambert Orkis. He has performed in the master classes of Sergei Babayan, Claude Frank, Paul Schenly, Peter Serkin, Arie Vardi and Earl Wild, among others. In 2015 he completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree together with a Doctoral Certificate in American Studies at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center; there he studied with Ursula Oppens. His dissertation, Ragtime Then and Now: Composers and Audiences from the Ragtime Era to the Ragtime Revival, is currently being prepared for publication. Previously, he has served on the faculties of Temple University, Queens College, and Baruch College. Dr. McNally joined the faculty of Texas State University in 2016. www.williammcnally.com