Chamber Music Series Endowed By and Named for Beloved Bassoonist William Winstead
CINCINNATI, OH (May 17, 2023) — The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) Chamber Players series will be known as the Winstead Chamber Music Series beginning in the 2023-24 season. The change commemorates the vibrant legacy of longtime CSO bassoonist William “Bill” Winstead, who played with the CSO for 32 years. Highly respected as an educator, composer, mentor, and friend to many, Winstead generously left the CSO a financial gift following his passing in 2020.
“[Winstead] was one of the luminaries of the bassoon community,” said Martin Garcia, Winstead’s former student turned colleague. “For three decades, he was responsible for countless colorful and expressive bassoon solos at Music Hall. To know him first as our teacher and then as a colleague and friend was a very special gift.”
The endowment of the chamber music series is particularly fitting, given Bill’s resounding musical background and spirit. “Bill’s musical development was heavily influenced by chamber music, which played a vital role in his early career before joining the CSO,” said Jennifer Monroe, who was also a former student turned colleague of Winstead. “As the Chamber Players concerts offer performers an opportunity to showcase their own creativity and individuality, Bill’s endowment of these concerts beautifully and meaningfully marries these values.”
Besides the chamber series acting as a source of artistic expression, it is also completely musician-driven. The musicians select the music on the program, manage their own rehearsals, and make all other key decisions about the series and how it is executed. Known for his unrivaled camaraderie with his orchestra counterparts, Winstead sought out to make musicians the main emphasis of this series.
Winstead’s act of generosity has not only assured the future of chamber music at the CSO, but it has also established an avenue of individuality and expression for his fellow musicians. Bill’s contributions as a performer, composer, educator and friend have left a significant impact, and now, as a donor, he has cemented his already notable legacy. “Bill had a deep love for those things in life that enhance our experiences as people,” said Garcia. “Our orchestra in Cincinnati is a cornerstone for art and human connection about which Bill cared very deeply. We hope that he would be pleased to know that his gift is going to secure the Chamber Players series forever, providing the musicians of the orchestra a platform to express themselves, connect with our wonderful audiences, and share the inspiration in these works.”