14-year-old Winston F. Schneider 


"Are we similar? 

"Do you love the sounds of music? Does a Brahms symphony speak to you? Love the mechanics and theory behind music? Love counterpoint? Find insects and small creatures fascinating and captivating? I do too.       

"Do you love Beethoven? Love a good game of chess or poker with friends? Love board games with bluffing and deduction? Love listening to your favorite symphonies in the morning while you read the newspaper? Love the Lord of the Rings book series? Love the fresh, crisp feeling you get on an evening after you’ve finished a long swim? Love to stay up really late composing music?"

Fourteen-year-old Winston Schneider is a composer, pianist and cellist. He’s won over twenty-six honors and awards for his musical compositions, including national and international awards.

“Congratulations on your bold ideas and I hope you keep them coming,” announced Shawn Jaeger, composer, as he introduced Winston Schneider’s new work, “Insect Suite,” at the MATA Jr. Festival in New York in November, 2018.  At age 10, Schneider was one of six pre-college composers selected internationally to compose a new piece for MATA Jr, which was premiered by the esteemed New York teen music ensemble, Face the Music, in Brooklyn, New York.  

“It’s like being a muse. You give him possibilities and he does his magic, which is amazing for a kid his age,” says Dr. Kenneth Meints in the Omaha World Herald (October, 2016). 


Schneider began composing at age five.  He has a rare musical ability of Absolute Pitch. He began music theory at the university level at age eight.

In 2018 Schneider travelled to Dallas, Texas, for the Young Composers Concert for NAfME, where his string quartet “Scherzo of the Feather Stars” was featured, as he was the first place national winner for the NAfME Composition Competition (K-8).  That same year, his “Insect March” also won first nationally in the NAfME Electronic Composition Competition (K-8). 

With a firm belief that all kids should have access to music education, Schneider won the 2019-20 Lowell Mason House national competition for Music Education Advocacy, with a video submission about the importance of a musical education. Schneider continues to perform and speak as an advocate for music education access for all kids.  

Schneider was featured in a NET/PBS series “What If…Winston, Young Composer;” and also “Nebraska Stories: Winston, Kid Composer;” and nationally on the PBS “Arts Canvas” website, “Bugs and Books Become Inspiration for this 11-year-old Composer.”

At age 12, he was the youngest student ever to be included in Curtis’ esteemed Summerfest composition program (summer, 2020). Later that summer, Schneider was one of a few non-New York residents selected to be a part of the New York Youth Symphony Composing Program and Conducting Program during their virtual year (2020-21). 


After being a three-time finalist in ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, he received one of the top two types of awards, an “Honorable Mention,” in 2021. This competitive and prestigious competition, for composers up to 30 years of age has 400 - 500 applicants each year.

In 2022, Schneider won the national MTNA Junior Composition Competition.  His work, “Salt Creek Tiger Beetle,” a string quintet, is inspired by the endangered insect which is one of the rarest insects in the world, and only found in Nebraska. It was presented at the 2022 MTNA National Conference. Adjudicator Albert Mendoza writes, “Throughout the quintet, the counterpoint is handled with professional ease, and the array of orchestral gestures is, frankly, stunning.” He continues, “The thoughtfulness given to each of the five voices is impressive and masterfully done.” Adjudicator Wynn-Anne Rossi writes, “An ambitious and satisfying creation! I feel like I just enjoyed a delicious feast. Thank you for composing this.”


Schneider's received commissions from notable organizations, including the Omaha Symphony, the Omaha Conservatory of Music, the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory and KVNO classical music station. 


Schneider studies music at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, and is the current and three-time MTNA Junior State Piano Performance winner (2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22).