Born in Melbourne, Australia on 24 April 1941, John Christopher Williams (born 24 April 1941) moved to England with his parents in 1952. Williams was initially taught guitar by his father, who was an accomplished guitarist. From the age of 11, Williams attended summer courses with Andrés Segovia at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. Later, he attended the Royal College of Music in London, from 1956 to 1959, studying piano because the college did not have a guitar department at the time. Upon graduation, he was invited to create such a department. He took the opportunity and ran the department for its first two years. Williams has maintained links with the college (and with the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester) ever since.
Williams’ first professional performance was at the Wigmore Hall in London on 6 November 1958. Since then, he has been performing throughout the world and has made regular appearances on radio and TV. He has extended the repertoire by commissioning guitar concertos from composers such as Stephen Dodgson, André Previn, Patrick Gowers, Richard Harvey and Steve Gray. Williams has recorded albums of duets with fellow guitarists Julian Bream and Paco Peña.
Although Williams is best known as a classical guitarist, he has explored many different musical genres. Between 1978 and 1984 he was a member of the fusion group Sky. For Kate Bush, he played the guitar on her song The Morning Fog.