Alberto Williams was an Argentine composer of classical music, a pianist, a pedagogue, and a conductor. Alberto Williams was born in Buenos Aires, in 1862. His maternal grandfather, Amancio Jacinto Alcorta, had been a respected diplomat and economist, and an amateur composer of salon music. Williams began studying the piano at age 8 with Pedro Beck. Six years later, he entered the Escuela de Música y Declamación (School of Music and Recitation) of the Province of Buenos Aires, where he received piano lessons from Luis José Bernasconi. He received a scholarship from the government of the Province of Buenos Aires in 1882 to study music composition at the Paris Conservatoire, where he was mentored by pianists Georges Mathias and Charles de Bériot, and learned harmony with Emile Durand and counterpoint with Ernest Guiraud. He furthermore took private lessons in composition from César Franck, who apparently became very fond of his student.