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16-year old Composer

“…inventive and original.

The array of orchestral gestures

is, frankly, stunning.

...impressive and masterfully done."

Albert Mendoza, Alfred Music
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Copy of Copy of Interview with “From the Top” Fellows Winston Schneider and Viviana Alfaro
Copy of Interview with “From the Top” Fellows Winston Schneider and Viviana Alfaro.png
Copy of Copy of Interview with “From the Top” Fellows Winston Schneider and Viviana Alfaro

"Absolutely incredible. standing on the shoulders of giants and then taking the next step."

(Review of Symphony in B-Flat Minor, Movement II, Paul Cravens)


Winston F. Schneider (b. 2007) is an international award-winning young American composer. He's received an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and now has 35 composition wins to his name across the U.S. and Europe, including three major competitions: MTNA, NAfME and NFMC. He was a MATA Jr. composer, which the New Yorker calls “the most exciting showcase for outstanding young composers from around the world.” He had his debut of an 11-minute full orchestra work with a professional orchestra when he was 12, a work he wrote at age 10. He was the youngest composer ever to be in Curtis Institute of Music’s summer program. 

A prolific composer, Schneider has written over 95 pieces. His works span a broad range: a 60-minute symphony, a septet with spoken voice about the summer of Covid-19 from the perspective of a 17-year-old girl, an orchestra piece involving scent envelopes for the audience to mimic the stink of a threatened stinkbug, a chamber piece reflecting the dire urgency of saving children from child abuse situations, and "Arachnida," a 21-minute tone poem for orchestra, featuring six types of Arachnids. 

He’s written music that’s been premiered and performed in NYC, Dallas, Cleveland, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Omaha and more. He's had commissions, premieres and performances by the Grammy-nominated Omaha Symphony, the Grammy Award-winning New York Youth Symphony, the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra, Face the Music (NYC’s premiere youth ensemble), Ars Futura (Cleveland based contemporary music ensemble), Chamber Project Saint Louis, Orchestra Omaha, SoundWaves String Orchestra, Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory ensemble, numerous chamber ensembles, and soloists, including virtuosic flutist, Mimi Stillman. His orchestra works have been conducted by Maestros Ernest Richardson, Ankush Kumar Bahl, Alejandro Gómez Guillén, Na'Zir McFadden, David Bloom, and Aviva Segall. He made his Masterworks debut with the Omaha Symphony in 2022. 

With early abilities of perfect pitch, transposing in his head, and sometimes, for fun, simultaneously playing piano with each hand in a different key with his eyes closed, Schneider began composing at age 5. He's also a pianist and cellist, and is a three-time MTNA Nebraska Piano Performance winner, and was named Outstanding Performer of the Year for his performance of Prokofiev's Suggestion Diabolique for Global Musical Arts in 2023.

He’s been featured on PBS’s News Hour’s "Arts Canvas," as well as two Nebraska Public Media feature stories, one which won a “Heartland Emmy.” In 2024, he was featured in Interlude, an international online music magazine. He's a From the Top Fellow and was a guest on From the Top's national radio program, Show 446, Earth Day Special, in April. 

Insects inform some of his music. He’s caught, studied and released over 100 different species of insects, arachnids, and other arthropods. 

He studies with Dr. Ken Meints at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, piano with Anne Madison (OCoM) and cello with Micah Fusselman. 

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October 12, 2025

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