A Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Willis teaches piano, fortepiano, and harpsichord performance and leads courses on keyboard literature and performance practice. As Director of the biennial UNCG Focus on Piano Literature from 2003 to 2014, he gathered musicians, scholars, students, and listeners to engage in intensive celebrations of chosen aspects of the repertoire.
Willis has appeared as soloist with such period-instrument chamber orchestras as the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, the Apollo Ensemble, the Magnolia Baroque Festival, and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. Recent recital appearances have taken place at the National Music Museum, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Strathmore Arts Center, and for early music societies in San Diego, San José, and Los Angeles.
Willis's investigation of historical performance practice includes the period from 1700 to 1760 when Italian and German masters first cultivated a pianoforte style in their keyboard works. He is fortunate to be able to explore this music on a 2005 David Sutherland replica of a Florentine pianoforte of the type built by Ferrini, successor to Cristofori, the inventor of the first piano action
Greensboro, North Carolina, United States