William Winstead is Principal Bassoonist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Music at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Mr. Winstead began his musical training as a pianist and composer before taking up the study of several wind instruments. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Winstead built a career for twenty-five years as a college professor – teaching bassoon, piano, theory, and composition – first at West Virginia University, then at Indiana-Purdue University, Florida State University, and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In 1987 he joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
A former president of the International Double Reed Society, Mr. Winstead has served as a member of the National Endowment for the Arts Music Advisory Panel and as a faculty member of the Aspen and Spoleto Music Festivals. He now regularly appears at the Sarasota Music Festival and at the Marlboro Music Festival. As a composer, William Winstead has had premieres by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony. He has received numerous commissions, grants, and awards, including an NEA grant in 1976 for a bicentennial work for narrator and orchestra. In addition he collaborated with Sol Schoenbach in publishing three volumes of solo bassoon music.