William Winstead

Contact image


A member of the Sarasota Music Festival faculty since 1987

William Winstead's illustrious thirty-two year career as Principal Bassoonist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra began in 1986, and he was then appointed Professor of Music at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1989.  Mr. Winstead began his musical training as a pianist at age three and composed his first opus at age five before taking up the study of several wind instruments including the oboe, clarinet, saxophone, French horn, tuba, and bassoon.

A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Winstead built a career for twenty-five years as a college professor - teaching bassoon, piano, music theory, and composition - first at West Virginia University, then at Indiana-Purdue University, Florida State University, and Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

A former president of the International Double Reed Society - the world's principal organization of student, amateur, and professional oboists and bassoonists - Winstead has served as a member of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Music Advisory Panel, and has appeared at Spoleto, Italy's Festival of Two Worlds and at the Aspen Music Festival.

For many years he has been associated with the Marlboro Music Festival and has made numerous recordings representing the festival including orchestral recordings conducted by Pablo Casals.  He has toured the United States and Canada with "Music from Marlboro" concerts and since 1992 has returned regularly to the festival as a senior participant.  In addition Winstead has been a featured performer and teacher every year since 1987 at the Sarasota Music Festival.

As a soloist William Winstead has appeared with the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, as well as with numerous regional and university orchestras.  He has been featured both in North America and in Europe as a recitalist for the International Double Reed Society's annual conferences and has presented master classes at such institutions as Juilliard School of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Beijing Conservatory.  His varied appearances have even included performances as a harpist and as a counter-tenor.

As a composer Winstead has had premieres by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony.  He has received numerous commissions, grants, and awards, including a NEA grant in 1976 for a bicentennial work for narrator and orchestra.  In addition he collaborated with his major teacher, Sol Schoenbach, in publishing three volumes of solo bassoon music.

Most recently Mr. Winstead received the first awarding of the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award by the University of Cincinnati (2007) and has seen the publication of many of his compositions for bassoon as well as his Four Impromptus for Oboe and Piano by TrevCo Music, USA's premier publisher of music for double reed instruments.