Obituary: William Winstead, Cincinnati Symphony principal bassoon, educator, composer, 77

Posted on: February 20, 2020

“William ‘Bill’ Winstead, former principal bassoonist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and a composer and teacher, was elated when maestro Louis Langrée commissioned him to write a new piece for the orchestra’s 125th anniversary season,” writes Janelle Gelfand in Friday’s (2/14) Cincinnati Business Courier. “In January, the CSO performed the world premiere of Winstead’s ‘Passages in Time’—a work that also called for youth orchestra musicians—illustrating, Winstead said, the future of the orchestra. Winstead, who retired in 2018 after 32 years with the orchestra, died on Feb. 12 following a brief illness. He was 77…. ‘He was such a presence in the community,’ said Ilya Finkelshteyn, CSO principal cellist…. A revered teacher, Winstead also served as professor of bassoon at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for 30 years…. He touched the lives of hundreds of students, including three current members of the CSO bassoon section…. Besides the Cincinnati Symphony, Winstead’s music has been performed by ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra…. In July, the first commercial recording of his Piano Sonata No. 1, ‘Lorad,’ is scheduled for release…. Winstead was preceded in death by his partner, William Loring.” Winstead’s funeral will take place at Corbett Tower at Music Hall, the CSO’s performance venue, on February 23.